Dear men. Your habit of watching TV more than 5 hours a day could drastically bring down your sperm count by a whopping 35 percent according to a latest study. According to the study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The findings also revealed that Male TV addicts were found to have 38 percent lower sperm count than those who had a less sedentary lifestyle. TV addiction could be attributable to eating high-calorie junk food and laziness in their impact on the sperm count, said the researchers.
The study also showed a link between the risk of dying from the blood clot in the lungs due to fatal pulmonary embolism, which could be raised by 45 percent with every hour of additional watching per day
For the study they collected samples from 200 students, all aged between 18 – 22 years. They analysed the sperm and found that excessive TV watchers had average sperm counts of 37 Mn per mL, as compared to 52 Mn per mL among those who hardly spend time in front of the TV.
The researchers said that men who were physically active, practiced at least 15 hours of moderate exercising or playing sports had sperm counts around 3/4th higher than those who were physically inactive.
The researchers further tried to explain that over-exercising and binge-watching both trigger the generation of free radicals in the body which can in worse cases cause cell death. Sperm being a cell also has 90 percent chances to die due to this activity, thereby significantly affect the reproductive health.
Diet plays a very important role in male fertility. It may also play an effective in improving the chances for conception and can also help in increasing the sperm count. Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta suggests food and diet tips to increase sperm count.
1. Go easy on processed food: Processed and fast foods are both known to be detrimental to health. In the Rochester young men’s study carried out at the University of Rochester, one group was fed a diet high in processed meat, red meat, refined grains, fast foods, high energy drinks and fast food. Another group of men were put on a healthy diet of chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Guess what they discovered? As always the group on the healthy or “Prudent” diet had better sperm motility. Other than this, there are numerous studies across the world which have highlighted the positive role of a diet high in whole grains, legumes, fruits vegetables and healthy fats on sperm health and fertility.
2. Tank up on fruits and vegetables: A study conducted by the Harvard University found that eating yellow and orange coloured fruits and vegetables had a profound effect on the health of the sperm. Yellow and orange colour in fruits and vegetables is because of “carotenoids” including beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. It is one of the most potent antioxidants. Sweet potato and melon were found to improve both the quantity and quality of sperms while red vegetables particularly tomatoes, which contains lycopene, improved the quantity of abnormally shaped sperms by 8-10%. The hero here was the carrot which increased the motility of the sperm, improving its chance to reach the egg.
3. Control the cholesterol: Couples with high cholesterol levels take longer to conceive. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism concluded that couples or either of the partner with high cholesterol found it difficult to conceive as compared to other couples. Another Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) study has found that maybe high levels of total cholesterol and free cholesterol are associated with a significantly lower percentage of spermatozoa. So, get in those whole grain fibres, whole fruits and lean plant proteins into your daily diet and keep a check on your lipid profile.