It’s not just women who need the healthy omega 3 fats to increase their fertility – latest research says that it’s men too! This study was very interesting and the results were clear – men who had higher levels of omega 3’s had healthier sperm.

82 men with clinically diagnosed infertility due to oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (low sperm count with a high percentage of slow moving and abnormal sperm) were compared to 78 fertile men. Sperm and blood samples were analysed according to WHO standards. The fertile men had higher levels of omega 3’s in their blood and semen than infertile men. Also, the infertile men had a higher ratio of omega 6’s: omega 3’s than fertile men.

Omega 6 fatty acids tend to be plentiful in our diet, coming from sources such as avocado, eggs, grains and cereals while omega 3s are not as common. Omega 3’s are found in high amounts in cold water fish and seeds such as flaxseed. In Western diets the ratio of omega 6’s: omega 3’s tend to favour the omega 6’s. So what we really need to focus on is increasing our omega 3’s.

The easiest way to do this is by taking a high-quality practitioner brand of fish oils. These are guaranteed to be sourced from small fish such as sardines and mackerel, are batch tested for heavy metals such as methylmercury and are also screened for impurities. These are the only type of fish oils supplements that I recommend and use.

So, for all men who are trying to have a baby, taking additional omega 3’s will improve sperm parameters. Don’t forget, Omega 3’s also have strong anti-inflammatory properties and have clinically proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and many other chronic conditions.

Relationship of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with semen characteristics, and anti-oxidant status of seminal plasma: A comparison between fertile and infertile men.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Fatty acid (FA) composition of the spermatozoa may be an important determinant of fertility. The aim was to evaluate polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) composition of the blood plasma and spermatozoa in infertile men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT). METHODS: Eighty-two infertile men with idiopathic OAT and seventy-eight fertile men defined according to semen concentration and proven fertility were enrolled in the study. The semen parameters were assessed according to World Health Organization criteria; three omega-3 fatty acids – alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and two omega-6 fatty acids – linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA) concentrations were measured in blood plasma and spermatozoa; and the seminal plasma enzymatic antioxidant levels of catalase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were also assessed.

RESULTS: Proven fertile men had higher blood and spermatozoa levels of omega-3 FAs compared with the infertile patients. The ratio of serum omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids was significantly higher in infertile (14.8+/-4.3) patients compared to fertile controls (6.3+/-2.2) (P=0.001). Additionally, levels of AA were higher and the omega-3 index (EPA+DHA) was lower in infertile subjects than in fertile controls (all P values<0.05). Infertile men had higher mean AA: DHA ratio and AA: EPA (6.4+/-2.9 and 12.0+/-4.9, respectively) than fertile men (3.3+/-1.8 and 6.7+/-2.6, respectively) (both P=0.001). A strong negative correlation was found between the AA: DHA and AA: EPA ratios and total sperm count (r=-0.62, P=0.001 and r=-0.64, P=0.001, respectively), sperm motility (r=-0.63, P=0.001 and r=-0.61, P=0.001, respectively), and sperm morphology (r=-0.61, P=0.001, and r=-0.59, P=0.002, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:

CONCLUSIONS: Infertile men had lower concentrations of omega-3 FAs in spermatozoa than fertile men. These results suggest that research should be performed to assess the potential benefits of omega-3 FA supplementation as a therapeutic approach in infertile men with idiopathic OAT.

Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug 8.

PMID: 19666200