Fish like salmon and tuna are great source of omega-3 fatty acid which have been shown to be effective for, not only reducing the risk of heart disease, but also increasing male fertility, a new study suggests.
A study at the University of Illinois showed that omega 3 DHA in marine fish plays a vital role in the formation of sperm. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is necessary to construct the arch that turns a round – immature sperm cell into a pointy-headed super swimmer with an extra long tail.
“Normal sperm cells contain an arc-like structure called the acrosome, which is critical in the process of fertilization as it accommodates enzymes that sperm use to penetrate an egg,” said Prof. Manabu Nakamura, who led the study as quoted from Indiavision.
The role of DHA in creating healthy sperm has been tested in an experiment on mice. The male mice that lacked DHA were basically infertile, but when DHA was introduced into the mice’s diet, fertility was completely restored. “It was very striking. When we fed the mice DHA, all these abnormalities were prevented,” he said.
The scientists then used confocal laser scanning (3D) microscopy to look at thin slices of tissue in progressive stages of a sperm cell’s development.
By labeling a fluorescent compound so that sperm can be tracked, the scientists also proved that changes in the fertility level in male mice was influenced by the enzymes.
“We could see that the acrosome is constructed when small vesicles containing enzymes fuse together in an arc. But that fusion doesn’t happen without DHA,” he said.
Most fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna, are rich in omega-3 DHA. Fish oil also contains good amount of omega-3 DHA for daily supplementation. A couple of servings of your favorite fish will supply you with enough nutrients to increase your fertility.
In addition to nutritional factor, sperm quality is also determined by one’s physical and hormonal conditions. Therefore, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercise regularly and avoid stress.
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