Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear
28°F
 

Fat men are found to have bad sperm




BARCELONA, Spain

Too many fatty foods are dangerous not only to men’s waistlines, but to their sperm production.

In research presented at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, scientists found that obese men have worse sperm than normal-weight men.

“There is a very long list of health hazards from being overweight,” said Ghiyath Shayeb, the study’s lead researcher at the University of Aberdeen. “Now we can add poor semen quality to the list.”

But experts aren’t sure if that necessarily means obese men face major difficulties having children.

“If you have a man who isn’t fantastically fertile with a normal partner who is fertile, her fertility will compensate,” said Dr. William Ledger, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Britain’s University of Sheffield, who was unconnected to the study.

But if both partners are heavy, Ledger said that could be a problem, since obesity is known to decrease women’s fertility.

Shayeb and colleagues analyzed the sperm samples of more than 5,000 men in Scotland, and divided the men into groups according to their Body Mass Index. Men who had an optimal BMI (20 to 25) had higher levels of normal sperm than those who were overweight or obese.

Fat men had a 60 percent higher chance of having a low volume of semen, according to Shayeb’s research. They also had a 40 percent higher chance of having some sperm abnormalities.

Shayeb and colleagues found that underweight men were just as likely to have the same problems as obese men. “But there were not many underweight men in Scotland,” he noted.

The researchers adjusted their analysis to account for other factors that could have affected men’s sperm count, like smoking, alcohol intake, history of drug abuse, and age.

“Male fitness and health are clearly linked to a man’s fertility,” said Neil McClure, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Queen’s University in Belfast.

The study supported results of an earlier sperm study done by doctors at hospitals and universities in Denmark.

There are several theories (Continued on Page B12) based on recent research showing no harm from reduced-fat milk in these youngsters.

With one-third of U.S. children overweight and about 17 percent obese, the new recommendations are important, said Dr. Jennifer Li, a Duke University children’s heart specialist.

“We need to do something to stem the tide of childhood obesity,” Li said.

Li said that 15 years ago most of her patients with cholesterol problems had an inherited form of cholesterol disease not connected to obesity.

“But now they’re really outnumbered” by overweight kids with cholesterol problems and high blood pressure, she said.

Dr. Elena Fuentes-Afflick, a pediatrics professor at the University of California at San Francisco, also praised the new advice but said some parents think their kids will outgrow obesity and cholesterol problems, and might not take it seriously.

“It’s hard for people to really understand” that those problems in childhood can lead to serious health consequences in adulthood, Fuentes-Afflick said.


Leave a Reply