07:53 GMT17 February 2020
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    In the past 40 years alone, western men's sperm counts have plummeted by between 50 and 60 percent. The way it is today, only 20 percent of Danish men have optimal sperm quality.

    Increased fish consumption significantly strengthens sperm quality, a new study by the Horsens Regional Hospital in Denmark has shown.

    “The more fish or Omega-3 you eat, the better parameters your semen has”, professor Ulla Breth Knudsen, chief physician at the fertility clinic at the Horsens Regional Hospital, told Danish Radio.

    Together with two colleagues, Breth Knudsen has analysed 16 international studies that investigate the alleged connection between sperm quality and intake of fish. The study shows that sperm quality is significantly increased if you eat fish a couple of times a week or more. A diet containing more fish also apparently makes spermatozoa “better swimmers”.

    “Generally speaking, we believe that a right diet makes sense if you want to make babies, especially if you have poor sperm quality. But if you are in the situation when you need to get into a fertility clinic due to poor sperm quality, we can only encourage you to think about your diet and hopefully add fish into the diet”, Breth Knudsen said. Apart from improving sperm count, there are indications that fish is also good for female reproductive health as well.

    According to the Danish study, salmon, cod, and mackerel are the go-to foods if one suffers from fertility problems.

    For those who don't find fish particularly appetising, there are alternatives.

    “The way we see it, it also helps to eat Omega-3 supplements, if you are not so excited about fish”, Breth Knudsen explained.

    In the past 40 years alone, western men's sperm counts have plummeted by between 50 and 60 percent. Only 20 percent of Danish men have optimal sperm quality, studies show, which is a major decline compared with the studies undertaken in the 1940s. Furthermore, about one-third of all couples in fertility treatment have problems with sperm quality.

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    sperm, fish, Scandinavia, Denmark
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