Why men may want more walnuts
Men, if you're looking for a fertility boost, you could shell out top dollars to visit a specialist... or you could just go nuts instead. A new study finds that a daily serving of walnuts can actually do what many fertility treatments can't...create stronger, healthier sperm.
Researchers gave 58 men half a cup of walnuts a day for 12 weeks, while telling a second set of 59 men to avoid all tree nuts during that time.
Sperm samples taken before and after found that men who got the nuts had improvements in almost every critical measure. Their sperm had better shape, movement, and vitality and fewer chromosomal abnormalities than they did 12 weeks earlier.
Men who ate no nuts saw no changes at all, according to the study in Biology of Reproduction.
Nuts, of course, are a great source of healthy fats, including essential fatty acids. They're especially rich in alpha-linolenic acid, the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids around.
We know from other research that omega-3s can play a critical role in fertility in men and women alike. And in this study, the men who ate the walnuts saw increases in omega-3 levels while those who avoided nuts saw no changes.
The study was funded by the California Walnut Commission, so there's a conflict there worth being aware of. And all of the men in the study were healthy in the first place with no signs of fertility problems, so there's no saying how much nuts might help men with more serious issues, if at all.
But one thing is clear from this and other studies: Diet and other nutritional approaches can play a major role in the reproductive health of men and women alike, and may in some ways be more effective than fertility treatments.
Work with an experienced holistic physician to find a nutritional approach that's right for you.