Attention, future fathers: You may want to say bye-bye to bacon, based on a new study indicating that eating processed meats can significantly lower a man’s sperm quality, reported Fox News on October 16.
To conduct the study, researchers from Harvard University compiled data from 156 men who were undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVR) with a partner. The couples reported details on their diets such as how much red meat, white meat, poultry and fish they ate.
The results showed:
- Men who ate more than half a portion of processed meats such as bacon each day had significantly lower levels of “normal” sperm, compared to men who ate less than half a portion of processed meats per day
- Fish seemed to increase sperm quality.
“We found the effect of processed meat intake lowered quality, and fish raised quality,” said study author Dr. Myriam Afeiche, from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).
However, one expert found something, well, fishy about the study.
Dr. Allan Pacey, chairman of the British Fertility Society, criticized the measurements of sperm quality and sample sizes.
“The relationship between diet and men’s fertility is an interesting one, and there is certainly now convincing evidence that men who eat more fresh fruit and vegetables have better sperm than men who don’t,” Pacey said. “However, less is known about the fertility of men with poor diets and whether specific foods can be linked to poor sperm quality.”