A new US study suggests giving sterile men omega-3 supplements may improve their sperm quality, thereby increasing their chance of conceiving.
However, since the University of Illinois study was conducted on mice, there is no guarantee the results could apply to humans, also.
But, a recent Iranian study has found lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the sperm of infertile men than fertile men.
For their study, the American scientists engineered mice to be deficient in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and were found to have lower sperm counts and more sperm abnormalities, than male mice who were normal.
However, feeding the mice DHA supplements reversed these effects, including their sperm count, while abnormalities improved.
Lead researcher Dr. Manabu Nakamura said, while looking at sperm in the DHA-deficient animals had provided them some hints about what type of pathology they were looking at, including why these polyunsaturated fatty acids were important, more research needs to be done at the cellular level.
Omega-3 supplementation usually comes in the form of fish oil, but it is also to be found in flaxseed and krill oil.
Other studies have shown pregnant women need omega-3 fatty acids for their babies’ brains, while adults get healthier hearts from them. They also appear to reduce pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis and may help treat autism, bipolar disorder, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD and prostate cancer.
And, even pets like our dogs and cats need omega-3s to stay healthy.
Some studies have even found adults with Alzheimer’s and children with ADHD to have lower blood levels of omega-3s than comparable groups without these problems.