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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Male Infertility And Lack Of Omega-3


Did you know that a lack of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) could cause men to become infertile? Well there have been some recent studies performed that seem to indicate that a lack of the fatty acid DHA could cause men to become infertile.


Before getting into the studies lets define some terms:
Knockout Mice - Are mice that have been genetically engineered to turn off one or more of its genes.
Motile - As used in this article, defines the ability of the sperm to swim in the right direction towards the egg.

A study performed at the University of Illinois, using knockout mice, which lacked the enzyme important for developing DHA, found that these mice were incapable of breeding. They also found that these knock out mice had low sperm count, the sperm was rounded instead of elongated, and sperm that were less motile.

When the scientist introduced DHA into the diet, the mice were able to reproduce.

In another study performed on 150 men in Iran and published by the journal "Clinical Nutrition" (February 2010, Vol. 29, pp. 100-105), found that infertile men had lower levels of Omega-3 in their sperm than fertile men.

Other studies coming out of Europe and Canada support these findings. But in all studies, they state that more studies are needed to find the mechanism, which causes infertility in men by having a lack of DHA.

Western Diet

If this is true, that a lack of DHA can cause infertility in men, then the Western civilization is a dying breed. About 150 years ago, our diet shifted from one, which consumed natural foods rich in Omega-3 to processed foods, which is deficient in Omega-3 but rich in Omega-6.

What this means is that we are not getting the Omega-3 we need for our body's health and possibly to prevent infertility in Western men.

Diet Change

If this is true, that DHA can cause infertility in men, then men should look at their diet and ensure they are receiving enough Omega-3, not only to ensure they are fertile, but also for their health.

Ensure your diet includes up to three servings a week of cold-water fish such as trout, salmon, cod, halibut, sardines and anchovies.


There have been several studies that have shown a link between infertility in men and a lack of DHA. Though these studies are not conclusive, men should be aware of these studies and ensure they are getting the proper amount of Omega-3.

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