I recently read an article in The Guardian, by Ian Simple. He wrote that a study found a link between soy-rich diets and lower sperm counts.
The study showed men who consumed more than two portions of soy-based foods a week had an average of 41 fewer sperm per ml of semen than men who had never eaten soy products. Let’s face it – now it’s hard NOT to consume soy. I believe that men who especially workout and consume soy protein drinks are more at risk. As you know I am all for removing soy from your diet altogether.
Male fertility in Europe is about 20% decline while the western diet is 40% decline with lower sperm count because it is a cheap source of protein, according to the Institute of Food Research in Norwich.
In the biggest human study into the effects of soy on fertility, Chavarro and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital recruited 99 men who had visited a fertility clinic between 2000 and 2006. The men were asked to fill out a questionnaire that asked them about the amounts of 15 different soy foods they had eaten over the previous three months. The researchers then put the men into four groups according to the levels of chemicals called isoflavones in their diets. Isoflavones are ingredients in soy products that mimic the female sex hormone, estrogen. Each man then provided a sperm sample for testing.
Chavarro found that men who consumed at least half a portion of soy food a day had the lowest sperm counts.
“Our findings suggest that the greater the soy food intake is, the lower the sperm concentration, compared with men who never consume soy food,” said Chavarro, whose study appears in the journal Human Reproduction.
Richard Sharpe, of the Medical Research Council’s human reproductive sciences unit said: “The take-home message could be that if you already have a low sperm count, soy foods are probably not a good idea for you, as they could have a real impact on your fertility by further lowering your sperm count.”
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