Men who want to increase their fertility levels might benefit from eating walnuts, according to a study.
Researchers in America asked a group of young men in their 20s and 30s to eat a 75g packet every day for three months. Compared with a group of men who avoided walnuts, they managed to increase their sperm count and its quality, potentially giving them a better chance of fathering a child.
One in six couples struggle to conceive, and it is thought around 40 per cent of these problems are due to problems with the man’s sperm.
Professor Wendie Robbins, of UCLA’s School of Public Health, said as the 117 volunteers were healthy non-smokers, it was not clear that walnuts would help with fertility problems, but it had a positive effect.
The researchers analyzed the men’s sperm concentration, how strongly they swam and their genetic makeup.
Those eating walnuts saw a modest 3 per cent average increase in sperm swimming, compared with no increase in the group who did not eat walnuts. And fewer of the walnut eaters were seen with aneuploidy – a disorder where sperm have too many or too few chromosomes.