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A daily serving of bacon may harm a man’s fertility

A recent article in The National Post profiled a study conducted at Harvard University that suggests eating even one piece of bacon a day may damage a man’s fertility.

The study examined the diets and size and shape of the sperm of 156 men who, with their partners, were experiencing infertility. The researchers discovered that men who were regularly eating processed meat had significantly fewer normal sperm, compared to those who limited their consumption of processed meat – including bacon, sausages, hamburg, and ham. The men in the study who ate less than the equivalent of one slice of bacon a day had 30% more normal sperm than those who ate larger amounts.

The study also found that men who ate whitefish (like cod or halibut) every other day, had more normal sperm than those who didn’t. One of the researchers, Myriam Afeiche, from Harvard’s School of Public Health in the Department of Nutrition, said that we don’t exactly know why foods such as processed meat may have such a negative impact on men’s sperm quality.

According to Allan Pacey, a fertility expert from the University of Sheffield, while previous studies have also shown that a healthy diet can improve male fertility, less is known about the specific types of foods that can negatively affect human fertility. Whether or not we completely understand how or why food affects sperm quality, Pacey advises men to eat less processed foods and more fish because we already know that limiting processed food can have a positive impact on men’s (and woman’s) overall health.

Read more about the study here.

Read more about the relationship between nutrition and men’s fertility here, here, here, and here. 

Read more about the relationship between nutrition and women’s fertility here, here, here, and here.

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