Men take note, fish oil can boost sperm count and even increase testicle size, a new study has revealed.
The research, published in JAMA, found men who regularly took fish oil supplements for 60 days had millions more sperm than those who took nothing or or those who took only vitamin supplements.
Researchers split up 1,679 male military recruits and couch surfers to determine whether fish oil could improve their semen.
Dr Tina Jensen, of the University of Southern Denmark, said: “Fish oil supplements were associated in a dose-response manner with higher semen volume and total sperm count, and larger testicular size.
“These findings suggest that healthy men may benefit from intake of fish oil supplements, but a well designed randomised clinical trial among unselected men is warranted.”
Participants were first chosen from young Danish men recruited to the military between 2012 and 2017.
Following this, young unselected men were approached and invited to participate regardless of their fitness for military service from 2018 to 2019.
Dr Jensen said: “Both studies reported increased total sperm count and motility and higher proportions of healthy sperm.”
The study revealed men with fish oil supplement who had taken it for more than 60 days had a semen volume that was 0.64 millilitres higher, and a testicular size of 1.5 millilitres larger.
Sperm counts were still boosted regardless of lifestyle, including but not limited to diet, obesity, medications, smoking, and physical activity.
Dr Jensen said: “Using a man aged 19 years who did not smoke, was not exposed to smoking in utero, had self-reported good to very good physical fitness, no fever in the past three months, and a mean 72 hours of abstinence as the reference, total sperm count was 147 million for men with no supplement intake, 159 million for men with other supplement intake, 168 million for men with fish oil supplement intake on fewer than 60 days, and 184 million for men with fish oil supplement intake on 60 or more days.”
According to the study, infertility affects approximately 15% of all couples, and approximately half of these issues are due to male factors.
Semen quality has also declined in the past 50 years, most notably among men who live in cities.
The researchers said men who wished to boost their sperm count in other ways should consume fish, shellfish, poultry, cereals, vegetables and fruits.
Foods to avoid include processed meats, soy foods, potatoes, full-fat and total dairy products, cheese, coffee, alcohol and sweets.
Dr Albert Salas-Huetos said: “This is the first well-designed study from a general population and including healthy individuals published to date, making the findings more interesting.
“Another strength of the study is the number of individuals analysed.
“It is important that future studies consider lifestyle, including but not limited to diet, obesity, medications, smoking, and physical activity, as this study did.”
The news follows further research revealed in 2018 which found wearing loose-fitting boxers could boost men’s sperm count.
Research into the effect of underwear on sperm quality has found that men who opt for airy boxer shorts made much more sperm than those who wore restrictive pairs.
That’s because they’re better at keeping your testicles cool, the researchers concluded.
In other related news, scientists have also previously discovered that the chemicals in non-stick pans could be having a surprising impact on penis size, and potentially making them smaller.
The chemicals, called perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs), are found in a number of everyday items, including the non-stick coat on cookware, fast food packaging and medicines.
Researchers, from the University of Padua, revealed that PFCs could be harming hormone signalling, which in turn could lead to ‘significantly’ smaller penises and less mobile sperm.