Eating nuts can cause changes in sperm DNA function, study shows

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In a new study, researchers found that nut consumption causes changes in sperm DNA function.

The research was conducted by a team at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and elsewhere.

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.

In the study, the team 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 72 healthy young men reporting eating a Western-style diet.

They found that the inclusion of a mix of nuts for 14 weeks strongly improved the sperm count, viability, motility and morphology.

They observed that the methylation of 36 genomic regions was very different between baseline and the end of the trial only in the group that ate nuts, and 97.2% of the regions displayed hypermethylation.

According to the researchers, these findings provide the first evidence that adding nuts to a regular Western-style diet impacts sperm DNA methylation in specific regions.

Researchers also point out that the potential health benefits of the findings warrant further study to verify the results found in other populations.

One author of the study is Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvadó.

The study is published in Andrology.

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