Bad news for boys: Bacon spoils your sperm

Stop porking around


Boys who eat bacon and sausages have weaker sperm, according to a new study. 

Our love affair with dirty fry ups may be about to end as processed red meats such as bacon and sausages had a negative effect on men taking fertility treatment.

Researchers claim boys who tuck into regular rashers are 28 per cent less likely to have winning sperm than those who keep clear.

But on the flip side, the study found no link between the overall amount of meat we put away and fertilisation rate.

What’s more, boys who ate a lot of chicken or other poultry actually had 13 per cent more success with their sperm.

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It might sort your hangover, but it’s bad for your sperm

The results, published in the medical journal Fertilisation and Study, followed 141 men whose partners were undergoing IVF at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Researcher Dr Rebecca Sokol, president of the American society for Reproductive Medicine said: “Many studies have shown that diet can affect human fertility, but our diets are so complex that it is difficult to tease out how particular food types may affect reproductive outcomes.

“This study suggests that the type of meat a man consumes may influence his sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.

“Eating a healthy diet is an easy change to make, and worth making for reproductive health as well as overall health.”

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Lucky girls were apparently unaffected by their bacon scoffing

Another expert, Dr Natan Bar-Chama, director of male reproductive medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York agreed with the sperm-killing power of bacon.

He told CBS: “Decreasing processed-meat consumption can now be added to the list of recommendations, such as to stop smoking, decrease alcohol consumption and lose weight – that we can offer to men prior to fertility treatments to optimise outcomes.

“Red meat intake is already associated with increased cancer risk and now with decreased fertility in men”

But Urology specialist Dr Elizabeth Kavalar said the study can’t give us a direct link between certain meats and male fertility.

She told CBS: “One of the reasons the study may have found more successful outcomes in the men undergoing fertility treatments who ate chicken over bacon is that chicken-eaters may have an overall healthier diet and lifestyle than bacon-eaters.

“Perhaps it is not the meat that is the problem, but the dietary choices that men who eat bacon make.

“Healthier dietary choices usually correlates with a healthier lifestyle, which may overall increase fertility outcomes.”