A diet high in fruit and grains and low in coffee, alcohol and red meat could boost a man’s fertility during IVF treatment, scientists say.
The study found that a poor diet and obesity can lower sperm concentration and impair their swimming stamina, lowering their chances of fertilising the egg.
Researchers studied 250 men undergoing fertility treatment with their partners, and discovered that those who regularly drank alcohol and ate poorly were less likely to conceive.
Lead researcher Edson Borges, from the Fertility-Assisted Fertilization Center in Sao Paolo said: “The sperm concentration was negatively influenced by body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption, and was positively influenced by cereal consumption and the number of meals per day.”
The Brazilian study looked at men undergoing a particular type of fertility treatment called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Participants were asked to say how often they ate a range of foods, including fruits and vegetables, beans, grains, meat and fish, as well as how much they drank and smoked.
Semen samples were then analysed to assess sperm health and concentration and each couple were monitored during the IVF process
From the speed of their sperm to their partner’s chance of pregnancy, men who drank and had a poor diet were less fertile.
"We talk about having a healthy lifestyle and trying to eliminate any of these things that are bad for health, but I think most of the emphasis tends to be on making sure the woman is as healthy as possible," said Dr. Lynn Westphal, a women's health and fertility specialist at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California.
Another recent study found that junk food can render an otherwise healthy man infertile.
Trying to conceive? Boost your chances with these these fertility-boosting diet tips.