I feel like I’ve already had a long week, what with Ryan, Romney, Medicare, budgets, deficits, etc. So I was thankful someone sent me this paper;
Purpose: We tested the hypothesis that 75 gm of whole-shelled walnuts/day added to a Westernstyle diet of healthy young men would beneficially affect semen quality.
Methods: A randomized, parallel two-group, dietary intervention trial with single-blind masking of outcome assessors, was conducted with 117 healthy men, age 21 – 35 years, who routinely consumed a Western-style diet. Primary outcome evaluated was improvement from baseline to 12 weeks in conventional semen parameters and sperm aneuploidy. Secondary endpoints included blood serum and sperm fatty acid (FA) profiles, sex hormones, and serum folate.
These researchers theorized that the polyunsaturated fatty acids in walnuts would improve sperm quality. They randomized 120 lucky men to get either their usual diet, or that plus 75 grams of walnuts supplied in “pre-weighed, 1 ounce snack packs provided by the California Walnut Commission, Folsom, California (http://www.walnuts.org).”
Who knew there was a California Walnut Commission?
After 12 weeks, these gentlemen abstained for 2-3 days, then provided a semen sample. A single technician analyzed 5000 sperm from each sample. They also drew blood. The results? Those in the walnut group had improved sperm vitality, motility, and morphology. They even had decreased chromosomal abnormalities. The dose of walnuts was also small enough not to negatively affect BMI or activity.
No news yet on how this might work in men with fertility issues. Regardless, I look forward to the imminent awesome walnut commercials.