The relationship between the number of quality semen per ejaculation and the diet a man eats is one that has been researched well. New research, however, narrows down the term "diet" to include antioxidants. Antioxidants are commonly found in fruits and vegetables and can prevent oxidation of molecules in the body.

According to the research, the lower the antioxidant levels in the man's diet, the less potent their semen (or sperm) may be. The research is linked to a previous study that revealed lower semen quality in men who ate diets primarily based on meats and full fat dairy. "In this study, we have found that people who consume more fruits and vegetables are ingesting more antioxidants, and this is the important point" [for male fertility] says Jaime Mendiola, the lead author in the study.

Experts involved in the study spent 4 years evaluating the link between dietary intake and semen quality. The primary goal of the research was to link antioxidants to their role in quality semen production. Sixty-one men were part of the study with about ½ presenting with fertility issues and the other half being the control group. The men in the study who ate more fruits and vegetables produced a higher quality semen than those who did not include enough of these antioxidant rich foods.

Researchers have yet to study the effect of supplemental intake versus dietary intake on semen quality, but plan to study this link in the future. That study will be undertaken in the United States as Americans tend to rely more heavily on supplemental intake of vitamins and minerals than any other westernized country.

This study was held in Spain where volume and mobility of sperm are ranked 9th and 10th, respectively in Europe. However, researchers noted that the quality of the sperm, or its ability to fertilize the egg was ranked 2nd.

Source: Fertility and Sterility - May 2009