Consuming omega-3 fatty acids improves semen quality

  • 09/06/2013

At the 23rd National Congress of the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society, SEGO 2013, held last May in Tenerife, a study performed at the Assisted Reproduction Unit in Hospital Quirón-Bilbao was reported, in which DHA supplementation for 10 weeks enabled sterile men to obtain levels of sperm morphology and vitality similar to donor sperm (whose quality is optimum).

Previously, the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, MA) had demonstrated the positive relationship between omega-3 fatty acid consumption and sperm morphology. A relationship between its consumption and a significant improvement in sperm count and density has also been shown in males with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.

One of the two mechanisms by which omega-3 improves semen quality is related to its presence in sperm membranes, which contain a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids; a sperm membrane with less DHA than is ideal becomes rigid and less flexible, making it harder for the sperm to fertilise the egg. Another mechanism involves its antioxidant activity (oxidative stress in semen plasma is one of the main factors associated with male infertility).

Published in FIS Spain