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Study finds junk food may increase infertility in healthy men

Fellas, if you're concerned about your fertility, you may want to put down that greasy plate of French fries and reach for a veggie platter instead.

Doctors at Harvard University and the University of Murcia, Spain, have found that junk food can make young men infertile, even if they're physical fit and in good health, British newspaper The Sun reports.

The researchers examined the sperm and diets of hundreds men, ages 18 to 22, all of whom were screened to ensure they were in top shape and had no health problems that would affect their reproductive systems. The participants were asked to keep a journal of what they ate for several months.

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Those who ate high amounts of junk food, such as fried foods, processed red meats, potato chips, cookies and cakes, were found to have sperm of poorer quality than their counterparts who ate a nutritious diet, high in whole grains, vegetables and fish, The Sun says. In particular, participants who consumed high levels of trans fats, naturally found in fried foods, had the worst quality sperm – that is, sperm that was least likely to survive the journey to fertilize an egg. This was the case, even for men who were a healthy weight and exercised.

Besides eating more healthfully, Ireland's Independent newspaper reports moderate exercise can also improve sperm quality, according to a separate study. Researchers from Yamaguchi University in Japan examined the sperm and exercise habits of 215 men. Those who said they did moderate exercise had higher quality of sperm than those who didn't.

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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