We’re already eating ourselves into a long list of diseases—obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and more than a dozen forms of cancer, to name a few.
But if you think that’s scary, consider this: We may be eating ourselves into extinction.
Yes, I realize I’ve talked before about the modern male fertility crisis. But it keeps resurfacing in the news like a bad penny. And while causes like plastics and pain relievers have been kicked around before, this latest research suggests yet another culprit that’s every bit as pervasive…
Western problem, “prudent” solution
According to new research, a Western diet—in other words, the Standard American Diet (SAD), packed with refined grains, starch, sugar, and processed meat—is linked to low sperm count and testicular impairment.
Obviously, this should come as a surprise to no one. After all, you’ll find hormone residue, heavy metals, and other toxins in your typical packaged and processed goods. But let’s talk about the findings anyway.
Researchers looked at data from nearly 3,000 Danish men and collected over a decade’s worth of medical exams. The information included details on diet and lifestyle as well as semen quality and hormone levels.
The men fell into one of four groups, according to their eating habits:
- “Western” pattern, consisting mostly of junk food and snacks
- “Prudent” pattern, featuring fish, chicken, and fresh produce
- “Scandinavian” pattern, featuring cold processed meats, whole grains, and dairy
- “Vegetarian” pattern, which is pretty self-explanatory
Ultimately, results showed that the “Prudent” men consistently showed higher sperm counts and higher concentrations of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which carries hormones through the blood, as well as lower levels of estradiol (an estrogen).
And when you consider the biological impact of a junk food heavy Western diet, it’s no wonder why.
An existential threat
The Western diet may not offer much in the way of nutrients—but it will flood your body with free radicals. And when that happens, all your cells are vulnerable to DNA damage, including your sperm cells.
In other words, a steady stream of junk food degrades sperm quality and motility. But this is one trend that, fortunately, is simple to reverse: Eat fresh, whole food instead.
A clean, whole food diet—which in this case, researchers identified as one high in fish, chicken, produce, and water and low in trans fats—helps to regulate free radical production and balance hormone levels. (Particularly estrogen, which is detrimental to testicular function and sperm creation.)
This type of diet boosts sperm quality. On the other hand, researchers linked high intakes of alcohol, caffeine, soy, sugar, and red and processed meat to lower fertilization rates.
Though for me, the jury is still very much out on red meat. I wouldn’t assume anything from that particular finding, on account of the fact that they never accounted for the quality of the meat—organic, grass-fed and -finished versus conventionally raised—in this research.
But the bottom line is still crystal clear: Lifestyle choices— dietary in particular—have a profound impact on male reproductive health. And not just on testicular function in the immediate sense. It also impacts sperm DNA, which can contribute to problems in our children.
I’ve mentioned this before, but we’ve seen steep declines in sperm counts and quality over the last half century—upwards of 40 percent. And the quality of the typical diet (not to mention the food supply at large) has plummeted right alongside it.
Sugar kills—I say it every day. But if we don’t start taking that message seriously soon, it may eventually kill us all off, one generation at a time.
P.S. Adopting a healthier diet—and kicking that sugar addiction to the curb—is simpler than you may think. In fact, I explain how you can turn your health around in just three days in the September 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The dangerous way sugar rewires your brain”). So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today. Click here now!
“Western Junk Food Diet Linked to Impaired Testicular Function.” Medscape Medical News, 06/28/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/914998)