Emerging literature suggests that men’s diets may affect semen quality, but there is little knowledge about the relation between meat intake and male fertility. A new study, currently published in Fertility and Sterility, showed that processed meat intake was negatively associated to fertilization rate in conventional IVF cycles. Even though it was found no link between overall meat consumption and successful fertilization, men who avoided processed meat such as sausage, bacon, and canned meat had a 28 percent higher success rate than those who consumed these foods daily.
Processed meat was associated with lower sperm concentration and morphology, reflecting sperm normality.
These data are in an agreement with findings of another recent study which examined the association between intake of meat and fish in relation to semen quality indicators among men attending a fertility clinic. It appears that just one piece of bacon a day can damage a man’s fertility, while eating a portion of whitefish such as cod or halibut every day can improve it. More specifically processed meat was associated with lower sperm concentration and morphology, reflecting sperm normality. Men who consumed less than a slice of bacon a day had 30% more normal sperm than those who ate higher quantities of processed meats.
On the other hand, foods like poultry and fish have been positively associated with fertilization rates. It is already known that high intake of processed meat is linked to other health issues and so advising men to consume more fish and white meat instead of processed red meats may improve their health generally as well as possibly be good for their fertility.