Healthy young men who add walnuts to a Western-style diet may improve the health of their sperm, according to a recent study.

The 12-week dietary intervention study, led by Wendie A. Robbins, PhD, of the University of California-Los Angeles, included 117 healthy men aged 21-35 years who routinely ate a Western-style diet. The researchers randomly assigned 59 men to add 75 grams of whole-shelled walnuts daily to their diet 58 men (controls) to consume their usual diet but refraining from eating tree nuts. Compared with controls, the walnut group experienced improvements in sperm vitality, motility, and morphology, Dr. Robbins’ team reported online in Biology of Reproduction. In addition, the investigators found that serum fatty acid profiles improved in the walnut group, with increases in omega-6 and omega-3, but not in the control arm.

It is unknown whether walnut consumption improves birth outcomes for men within fertility clinic population or in the general population, the researchers noted.

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