Gents who are trying to boost their sperm quality so that they can become dads should listen up because new research has found that the humble tomato can help produce stronger sperm.
You say tomato …
A new study has found that men who took the equivalent of two tablespoons of “concentrated tomato puree” – or what we call tomato paste in Australia – a day had better quality sperm.
Lycopene is an antioxidant – antioxidants stop cells becoming damaged via oxidation – and has a bunch of other health benefits including reducing the risk of some types of cancers as well as heart disease.
The men in the study were given a special supplement which contained as much lycopene as two kilograms of cooked tomatoes.
Modest but significant
It should be noted that the study was quite small – just 60 men – and was partly funded by the company who makes the lycopene supplement. That said the results were promising and suggest that lycopene encourages healthy-shaped sperm and increases motility (the speed at which sperm move).
“We report a modest but statistically significant improvement in the semen quality of healthy young men,” the study authors say of this lycopene intervention.
Dr Liz Williams, a specialist in human nutrition at the University of Sheffield led the research and she says their findings were really encouraging.
“The next step is to repeat the exercise in men with fertility problems and see if lycopene can increase sperm quality for those men and whether it helps couples conceive and avoid invasive fertility treatments,” she told the BBC.
The results were just published in the European Journal of Nutrition and it’s clear that while more research needs to be done, these guys are clearly onto something.
Eat more tomatoes, gents!