Walnuts Boost Male Fertility and Heart Health

Walnuts and sperm count

Most of us realize that walnuts are not just delicious tree nuts. They are also good for our heart. But most of us didn’t realize that walnuts were also significantly healthy for us because they increase a male’s fertility.

Male fertility from walnuts

Research shows that eating just 75 grams of walnuts a day for three months increases sperm count. It also increases male fertility. Aren’t these the same things? Yes and no.

The research, from the University of California at Los Angeles recruited 117 young volunteers (men of course) who were in healthy condition. They also consumed a typical western diet. The scientists had 59 of the men eat 75 grams of walnuts per day for three months. The rest of the men (58 of them) didn’t eat walnuts or any other tree nuts.

Before and after the three months, the men were examined for sperm count and sperm health along with blood tests. Those who ate the walnuts experienced a significant boost in sperm quality – vitality, sperm motility and sperm morphology. Sperm aneuploidy measures, which test chromosomes, were also improved among those who ate the walnuts for the three month period.

Infertility issues widespread

Epidemiological research has estimated that some 70 million couples around the world suffer from infertility issues. From 30% to 50% of infertility issues are due to fertility among men. Between three and five million men seek fertility treatments every year.

The research was led by UCLA Professor Wendie Robbins, Ph.D., R.N. “The positive finding of walnuts on sperm may be a result of their unique nutrient profile,” Dr. Robbins stated after the study.

Dr. Catherine Carpenter, an associate professor of medicine at UCLA commented:

“these findings are not surprising when you look at the nutritious content of walnuts, however the results are amazing considering the impact they might have on men of all ages, including older men, and men with impaired fertility.”

The research findings correlated fertility improvement with the walnuts’ alpha-linolenic acid content, along with other nutrients.

Dr. Robbins suggested that the male’s diet is rarely considered in modern fertility issues:

“Diet is not just maternal territory anymore.”

Walnuts provide many nutrients

Walnuts contain a bunch of healthy nutrients. Just a cup of chopped walnuts contains 18 ounces of protein, or about 15% by weight. Walnuts contain many of B vitamins, for example, folate at 115 mcg, B6 at 600 mcg and thiamin at 400 mcg. And a cup of walnuts will contain 115 milligrams of calcium, 185 milligrams of magnesium and 516 milligrams of potassium. Walnuts are also high in manganese – with 200% of US Daily Value. Walnuts are also rich in selenium and phytosterols.

But it is walnuts’ omega-3 content that blows the doors off of most foods, at 10,623 milligrams of omega-3s per cup. Much of this comes in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Healthy livers convert ALA to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as needed, at a rate of between 7% and 36%. Studies of men and women conducted at the UK’s University of Southampton found an average conversion rate of 36% from ALA to EPA, DHA and other N-3s in women and 16% in men. The liver converts ALA using the delta-6-desaturase and elongase enzymes.

It is not surprising that walnuts have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, improve artery health, reduce blood pressure and reduce inflammation.

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Learn about the perfect diet.

 

REFERENCES:

Robbins WA, Xun L, Fitzgerald LZ, Esguerra S, Henning SM, Carpenter CL. Walnuts Improve Semen Quality in Men Consuming a Western-Style Diet: Randomized Control Dietary Intervention Trial. Biol Reprod. 2012 Aug 15.

Burdge GC, Jones AE, Wootton SA. Eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids are the principal prod-ucts of alpha-linolenic acid metabolism in young men. B J Nutr. 2002 Oct;88(4):355-63.

Burdge GC, Wootton SA. Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapenta-enoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women. B J Nutr. 2002 Oct;88(4):411-20.

Vinson JA, Cai Y. Nuts, especially walnuts, have both antioxidant quantity and efficacy and exhibit significant potential health benefits. Food Funct. 2012 Feb;3(2):134-40.

West SG, Krick AL, Klein LC, Zhao G, Wojtowicz TF, McGuiness M, Bagshaw DM, Wagner P, Ceballos RM, Holub BJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Dec;29(6):595-603.

Damasceno NR, Pérez-Heras A, Serra M, Cofán M, Sala-Vila A, Salas-Salvadó J, Ros E. Crossover study of diets enriched with virgin olive oil, walnuts or almonds. Effects on lipids and other cardiovascular risk markers. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Jun;21 Suppl 1:S14-20. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Um CY, He K. Long-term walnut supplementation without dietary advice induces favorable serum lipid changes in free-living individuals. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;65(3):421; author reply 422.

Kris-Etherton PM. Walnuts decrease risk of cardiovascular disease: a summary of efficacy and biologic mechanisms. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4):547S-54S. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.182907.

Walnuts and arteries. Harv Heart Lett. 2010 May;20(9):6.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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