Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Good for Male Fertility

Apr 14, 2010
Omega-3 fatty acids has a great number of benefits, including the protection against heart diseases, prevention of high blood pressure, improved immune function and others. Now, it seems that omega-3 fatty acids may become an important part of a fertility diet.

A new study conducted at the University of Illinois revealed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), known as one of the kinds of the omega-3, that is mainly found in such foods as fatty fish and vegetable oils, plays a significant role in male fertility.

During the study, the scientists used mice that did not had the gene that takes part in making DHA. Mice that lacked DHA were found to be mostly infertile.

Manabu Nakamura, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois said that these mice produced few sperm that had low quality. The lack of DHA resulted in low sperm count, poor sperm motility and misshaped sperm that is not able to fertilize an egg.

When the scientists included DHA in mice's diet, the sperm quantity and quality improved considerably.

Previous studies have suggested that men with fertility problems, like low sperm count and poor sperm motility often lack omega-3 fatty acids.

Scientists say that our body produces DHA from alpha-linolenic acids, which can be fund in soybean oil or canola oil.

The findings were published in the Journal of Lipid Research.