Diet Can Modulate Male Fertility: Nut Consumption Causes Changes in Sperm DNA Function


Adding nuts to a Western-style diet has an effect on its epigenetics; this research shows, for the first time, that there are regions in the sperm epigenome that respond to the diet, which would explain why diet can modulate male fertility.

Many environmental and lifestyle factors have been implicated in the decline of sperm quality, with diet being one of the most plausible factors identified in recent years. Moreover, several studies have reported a close association between the alteration of specific sperm DNA methylation signatures and semen quality. To date, however, no randomized clinical trials (RCT) have been published that assess the effects of diet on these changes in the function of sperm DNA.

Researchers from the Human Nutrition Unit of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, the Pere Virgili Institute of Health and CIBERobn (led by Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvadó), and researchers from the University of Utah (led by Dr. Douglas T. Carrell) have evaluated for the first time the effect of a short/middle-term consumption of a mixture of tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts) on sperm DNA methylation patterns in healthy individuals reporting eating a Western-style diet.