If you’ve become a little lax in your eating habits lately, it might be time to get started, and not just because of your weight. A new study, the largest of its kind to date, suggests that a particular type of drink has the power to dramatically affect men’s ability to reproduce. Here’s what a team of nutrition and men’s health experts, including several from Harvard, found in a study of nearly 3,000 young men.
With the help of nutrition and epidemiology specialists in Scandinavia, researchers at Harvard Medical School, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston measured 10 years of data on the fertility from samples of 2,935 healthy young men with a median age of 19 years. According to a study soon to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Human reproduction journal, the researchers’ goal was to understand the effects of sugary drinks on sperm quality and reproductive hormone levels.
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As part of their method, the researchers asked participants to self-report their consumption of four types of drinks: sugary drinks, artificially sweetened drinks (such as diet sodas), energy drinks, and juices.
In conclusion, the team found that consuming sugary drinks was associated, as they report, with “lower sperm concentration, lower total sperm count, and lower inhibin-B / FSH ratio. serum “. (Serum inhibin-B / FSH is a marker of sperm production.)
In particular, young men who most often drank a 7.5-ounce serving of sugary drink each day saw a median sperm concentration 13.2 million per milliliter lower than that of non-consumers. For reference, the Mayo Clinic states, “Normal sperm densities range from 15 million to over 200 million sperm per milliliter of semen.
The study authors say that other lifestyle factors that may have impacted the results should be taken into consideration. But, if their findings speak to you, it might be time to revisit those sugary drinks.
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