According to the authors, the results are consistent with previous research which has shown sperm can be improved by diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants like vitamin C and E, selenium, zinc, and folate - all of which are found in nuts.
The results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on 4 July.
Scientists made the claim after conducting a randomised trial which measured conventional semen parameters and molecular changes over 14 weeks. The researchers write that there has been a decline in male sperm quality of late attributed to "pollution, smoking, and trends toward a western-style diet".
The potential benefits of nuts for men struggling with fertility have yet to be probed. And about 40-50% of infertility cases are related to problems in men.
The investigation was focused on 119 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35.
Although the findings support hopeful fathers adding nuts to their diets, the researchers stress the study was carried out on healthy men who ate a western diet and therefore the results may not apply to all.
He said it was that change in the level of DNA fragmentation in the sperm cells by which the researchers explained, at least in part, the improvement in sperm count, motility and morphology.
"Therefore, with regard to this study, I am not surprised that a diet rich in nuts is associated with better sperm".
When scientists analyzed the sperm and blood samples, they found that those who ate nuts had, on average, a 16 percent higher sperm count. They also had reduced DNA fragmentation, which is a measure of sperm damage. Reduction in DNA fragmentation was the main reason why the other parameters also improved he said.
"These four parameters are all associated with male fertility".
According to Salas-Huetos one of the limitations of the study was the inclusion of healthy males with normal fertility.
"But evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception - and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet", he noted.
Nuts are important for improving sperm count says study. The work, funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council, has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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