Omega-3 fatty acid in diet can make men fertileApril 13th, 2010 - 3:32 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, April 13 (IANS) The introduction of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet may help in restoring fertility in males, a new study says.
The three most nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
“In our experiment, we used ‘knockout’ mice that lacked the gene responsible for an enzyme important in making docosahexaenoic acid (DHA),” said Manabu Nakamura, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UI-UC) associate professor of food science and human nutrition.
“In the absence of DHA, male mice are basically infertile, producing few if any misshaped sperm that can’t get where they need to go,” said Nakamura.
“We looked at sperm count and shape and tested the breeding success rate, and the mice lacking DHA simply were not able to breed,” said Manuel Roqueta-Rivera, UI-UC doctoral student who also worked on the study.
In the DHA-deficient knockout mice, sperm counts were extremely low. The sperm that were produced were round instead of elongated and they were unable to move well, he said.
But, when DHA was introduced into the diet, fertility was completely restored. “It was very striking. When we fed the mice DHA, all these abnormalities were prevented,” he said.
This is the first time that the importance of DHA to male fertility has been shown this directly, although some studies have suggested that male fertility patients with low sperm counts and less motile sperm tend to have low levels of this fatty acid.
Nakamura said our body must make DHA from dietary alpha-linolenic acids, the parent compound of the omega-3 fatty acid family. Vegetable oils, including soybean and canola oil, are good sources of alpha-linolenic acid.
Nakamura’s team plans to continue focusing on this omega-3’s effects on fertility. But he cautioned that there are still things they don’t understand, said an UI-UC release.
The study was published in the February issue of the Journal of Lipid Research.
- Fatty fish may help treat male infertility - Apr 13, 2010
- Canola-type rapeseed oil cuts levels of inflammation - Nov 09, 2010
- Fish diet in pregnancy bolsters progeny's intelligence - Feb 01, 2012
- Low levels of Omega fatty acids weaken memory - Feb 28, 2012
- Fish livers 'are good source of beneficial fatty acids' - Apr 29, 2011
- Fish livers contain beneficial fatty acids - Apr 30, 2011
- Fish oil ups risk of colon cancer in mice - Oct 06, 2010
- Bingeing on soda, sweets makes you a dim wit - May 16, 2012
- Omega-3 fatty acids good for heart, bad for prostate - Apr 26, 2011
- Beware! Fatty acids could lower quality of semen - Mar 14, 2012
- Fish can help improve nervous system function - Dec 17, 2009
- Omega-3 oils from GM soybeans safe to eat: US FDA - Oct 28, 2009
- DHA 'fish oil' supplements 'not useful for those with mild Alzheimer's' - Nov 03, 2010
- Fish-oil components can treat chronic illness? - Oct 09, 2010
- Turmeric may help walking ability in spinal injuries - Jun 27, 2012
Tags: 3 fatty acids, acid family, alpha linolenic acid, canola oil, dha, family vegetable, human nutrition, illinois urbana champaign, knockout mice, low sperm counts, male fertility, male mice, manabu, nakamura, omega 3 fatty acid, omega 3 fatty acids, parent compound, university of illinois urbana, university of illinois urbana champaign, vegetable oils