According to a recent University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study, consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids may help treat temporary male infertility.
In the study, a group of investigators led Manabu Nakamura, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition at the university, used a mouse model to examine the role that omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plays in male fertility.
After depriving the subjects of DHA by shutting off a gene responsible for the creation of the enzyme, the researchers found that mice produced fewer sperm.
"We looked at sperm count, shape, and motility and tested the breeding success rate, and the mice lacking DHA simply were not able to breed," said Manuel Roqueta-Rivera, a doctoral student who also worked on the study.
However, once the mice were fed a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, their fertility was quickly restored.
Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include vegetable oil, canola oil, flaxseed and English walnuts. They are also available in certain fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines.