Project

FERTINUTS: EFFECT OF NUT CONSUMPTION ON SEMEN QUALITY AND FUNCTIONALITY IN A COHORT OF HEALTHY MALES

Goal: The main objective of the present study is to evaluate on healthy individuals reporting eating a Western-style diet, the effect of chronic consumption of a mixture of tree nuts (60 g/day) on several semen quality parameters and sexual health.

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Albert Salas-Huetos
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Background Many environmental and lifestyle factors have been implicated in the decline of sperm quality, with diet being one of the most plausible factors identified in recent years. Moreover, several studies have reported a close association between the alteration of specific sperm DNA methylation signatures and semen quality. Objectives To evaluate the effect of tree nut consumption on sperm DNA methylation patterns in healthy individuals reporting eating a Western‐style diet. Material and methods This is a post hoc analysis conducted in a subset of participants (healthy, non‐smoking, and young) from the FERTINUTS 14‐wk randomized‐controlled, parallel trial, recruited between December 2015 and February 2017. The participants included in the current study (n = 72) were randomly selected in a proportion 2:1 from the original FERTINUTS trial between the 98 participants that completed the entire dietary intervention (nut group, n = 48; control group, n = 24). Sperm DNA methylation patterns were examined at baseline and after 14 weeks in 48 individuals consuming 60 g/d of mixed nuts (nut group) and in 24 individuals following the usual Western‐style diet avoiding consumption of nuts (control group). Results Over the course of the trial, no significant changes in global methylation were observed between groups. However, in the nut group, we identified 36 genomic regions that were significantly differentially methylated between the baseline and the end of the trial and 97.2% of the regions displayed hypermethylation. We identified no such change in the control group over the same period of time. We also utilized the recently developed germ line age calculator to determine if nut consumption resulted in alterations to the epigenetic age of cells and no significant differences were found. Discussion and conclusion Adding nuts to a regular Western‐style diet subtly impacts sperm DNA methylation in specific regions, demonstrating that there are some sperm epigenome regions that could respond to diet.
Albert Salas-Huetos
added a research item
Lifestyle risk factors for erectile and sexual function include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, psychological stress, and adherence to unhealthy diets. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of mixed nuts supplementation on erectile and sexual function. Eighty-three healthy male aged 18-35 with erectile function assessment were included in this FERTINUTS study sub-analysis; a 14-week randomized, controlled, parallel feeding trial. Participants were allocated to (1) the usual Western-style diet enriched with 60 g/day of a mixture of nuts (nut group; n = 43), or (2) the usual Western-style diet avoiding nuts (control group; n = 40). At baseline and the end of the intervention, participants answered 15 questions contained in the validated International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), and peripheral levels of nitric oxide (NO) and E-selectin were measured, as surrogated markers of erectile endothelial function. Anthropometrical characteristics, and seminogram and blood biochemical parameters did not differ between intervention groups at baseline. Compared to the control group, a significant increase in the orgasmic function (p-value = 0.037) and sexual desire (p-value = 0.040) was observed during the nut intervention. No significant differences in changes between groups were shown in peripheral concentrations of NO and E-selectin. Including nuts in a regular diet significantly improved auto-reported orgasmic function and sexual desire.
Albert Salas-Huetos
added a research item
The aim of this cross-sectional analysis is to investigate the associations between the adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD) and semen quality parameters. To assess the adherence to the MD, the Trichopoulou score was used. Semen parameters were assessed as described in the 2010 WHO’s report and the results are showed across tertiles of MD adherence. A total of 106 participants were included. Compared to those in the lowest MD adherence tertile, participants in the top tertile had statistically significant higher BMI and waist circumference and consumed more energy, and also had statistically significant higher semen pH, and total sperm motility and progressive sperm motility percentages, and lower sperm immotility percentages. Moreover, percentage of total and progressive motility were significantly higher among those subjects in the higher adherence to MD in comparison with those in low-medium adherence category. The multivariable linear regression models evaluating the relationship between the sperm quality parameters and tertiles of MD adherence adjusted by age, energy and BMI showed that compared with the lowest tertile, men in the highest tertile had a higher percentage of total sperm motility [β non-standardized coefficient = 12.785]. These findings suggest that adherence to the MD was positively associated with sperm motility.
Albert Salas-Huetos
added a research item
Background: Human semen quality has declined in industrialized countries. Pollution, smoking, and the consumption of a Western-style diet are all hypothesized as potential causes. Objective: We evaluated the effect of chronic consumption of nuts on changes in conventional semen parameters and the potential mechanisms implicated. Design: The FERTINUTS study was a 14-wk randomized, controlled, parallel trial. A total of 119 healthy men, aged 18-35 y, were allocated to 1 of 2 intervention groups: one group was fed the usual Western-style diet enriched with 60 g of a mixture of nuts/d (nut group), and the other was fed the usual Western-style diet avoiding nuts (control group). Semen and blood samples were collected at baseline and at the end of the intervention. Dietary information was recorded throughout the trial. Changes in conventional semen parameters (pH, volume, sperm count and concentration, motility, and morphology) were determined as primary outcomes. The effect of nut consumption on sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF), reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, chromosome anomalies (X, Y, and 18), total DNA methylation, and microRNA expression were measured in sperm samples as potential causes of the changes in the seminogram. Results: Compared with the control group, improvements in total sperm count (P = 0.002) and vitality (P = 0.003), total motility (P = 0.006), progressive motility (P = 0.036), and morphology of sperm (P = 0.008) were observed in the nut group. Participants in the nut group showed an increase in the consumption of total fat, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin E, α-linolenic acid, total omega-3 (n-3) and ω-3:ω-6 ratio intake during the intervention. Participants in the nut group showed a significant reduction in SDF (P < 0.001) and in the expression of hsa-miR-34b-3p (P = 0.036). No significant changes in ROS, sperm chromosome anomalies, or DNA methylation were observed between groups. Conclusions: The inclusion of nuts in a Western-style diet significantly improves the total sperm count and the vitality, motility, and morphology of the sperm. These findings could be partly explained by a reduction in the sperm DNA fragmentation. This trial was registered at ISRCTN as ISRCTN12857940.
Albert Salas-Huetos
added a research item
Infertility, which affects ∼15% of the world's population, is a global public health issue recognized by the WHO. Therefore, it is of major clinical and public health importance to investigate whether modifiable lifestyle factors-such as stress, drug use, smoking, alcohol intake, and diet-may influence human fertility. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) from the MEDLINE-PubMed database was conducted to assess the effect of nutrients, dietary supplements, or food on sperm quality parameters. In total, 28 articles were included for qualitative analysis and 15 for quantitative meta-analysis. Total sperm concentrations [expressed as mean differences (MDs); 95% CIs, in spermatozoa (spz)/mL] were increased by selenium (3.91 × 10 6 spz/mL; 3.08, 4.73 spz/mL), zinc (1.48 × 10 6 spz/mL; 0.69, 2.27 spz/mL), omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (10.98 × 10 6 spz/mL; 10.25, 11.72 spz/mL), and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (5.93 × 10 6 spz/mL; 5.36, 6.51 spz/mL). Sperm counts were increased by ω-3 fatty acids (18.70 × 10 6 spz/mL; 16.89, 20.51 spz/mL) and CoQ10 supplementation (10.15 × 10 6 spz/mL; 8.34, 11.97 spz/mL). Sperm total motility was increased by selenium (3.30%; 2.95%, 3.65%), zinc (7.03%; 6.03%, 8.03%), ω-3 fatty acids (7.55%; 7.09%, 8.01%), CoQ10 (5.30%; 4.98%, 5.62%), and carnitines (7.84%; 6.54%, 9.13%), whereas sperm progressive motility was increased only after supplementation with carnitines (7.45%; 6.24%, 8.67%). Finally, sperm morphology was enhanced by selenium (1.87%; 1.50%, 2.24%), ω-3 fatty acid (0.91%; 0.69%, 1.13%), CoQ10 (1.06%; 0.72%, 1.41%), and carnitine (4.91%; 3.68%, 6.15%) supplementation. This meta-analysis of RCTs suggests that some dietary supplements could beneficially modulate sperm quality parameters and affect male fertility. However, results must be cautiously interpreted due to the limited sample size of the meta-analyzed studies and the considerable observed interstudy heterogeneity. The present study and the corresponding search protocol were registered at the PROSPERO registry at http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO as CRD42017058380. Adv Nutr 2018;9:833-848.
Albert Salas-Huetos
added a research item
O-238 Effect of nut consumption on semen quality and functionality in healthy males: a randomized controlled trial Study question: Can a chronic consumption of a mixture of nuts improve the semen quality parameters and the sperm functionality in healthy individuals? Summary answer: Including nuts in a regular diet significantly improved the sperm count, vitality, motility, and morphology, partly explained by a reduction of the DNA fragmentation. What is known already: Human semen quality has declined in industrialized nations where pollution, smoking, and trends toward a western-style diet are hypothesized as potential causes. Recently, some studies described that healthy diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants (e.g. vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc), carnitines and folate could improve semen quality. Because nuts are nutrient dense foods containing some of the above-mentioned nutrients, we hypothesize that, added to a western-style diet, would beneficially affect semen quality and functionality. Study design, size, duration: The study was designed as a 14-week randomized, controlled, parallel two-group trial. 119 healthy male aged 18-35 were allocated to either following their usual western-style diet supplemented with 60 g/day of a mix of almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts or to follow with their usual western-style diet free of nuts. Participants/materials, setting, methods: Sperm and blood samples were collected at baseline and after 14 weeks of intervention. Dietary information was recorded in four visits distributed along the trial. Conventional semen parameters (WHO, 2010) were determined as primary outcome. To elucidate at the molecular level the effects of nuts consumption, sperm DNA fragmentation (TUNEL assay), sperm ROS (chemiluminescence using Luminol), sperm chromosome stability (FISH for chromosomes X, Y and 18) and total sperm DNA methylation (ELISA assay) were measured. Main results and the role of chance: A total of 98 participants completed the study. General characteristics of the study population (age, weight, height, BMI, waist circumference, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure) did not differ between interventions. No significant differences were observed in conventional blood biochemical parameters (fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and VLDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting plasma insulin, C reactive protein and folate). In nuts group, we found a significant increased intake of total lipids, MUFA, PUFA, magnesium, vitamin E, omega-3, ALA, and omega-6. We found an improvement of sperm count (P-value = 0.0043), vitality (P-value = 0.0027), total motility (P-value = 0.0093), progressive motility (P-value = 0.0207), and morphology (P-value = 0.0073) in the nut group compared to the control. Participants in the nuts group shown a significant reduction of the sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) (P-value = 0.0018) a parameter closely related with male infertility. Negative correlations between sperm vitality and SDF (rho=-0.2252; P-value = 0.0266), and between total spermatozoa and SDF (rho=-0.3170; P-value = 0.0015) were detected. No changes between interventions were found in ROS (P-value = 0.1996), sperm chromosome (X, Y and 18) anomalies (P-value disomies = 0.3336, P-value nullisomies = 0.9386, and P-value diploidies = 0.0674), and DNA methylation (P-value = 0.8652). Limitations, reasons for caution: By design, a limitation of this trial is that it focuses on health, apparently fertile and with western-style diet subjects, and the results cannot be extrapolated to the general population. Wider implications of the findings: Our findings support a beneficial role of chronic nut consumption in sperm quality and explore the molecular mechanism that could explain our results. Additional efforts to identify male-specific dietary recommendations that optimize sperm quality and fertility should be encouraged. Trial registration number: The trial was registered in ISRCTN registry with identifier ISRCTN12857940 (DOI: 10.1186/ISRCTN12857940).
Albert Salas-Huetos
added 2 research items
El presente estudio pretende analizar el efecto de suplementar la dieta (occidentalizada) con una mezcla de frutos secos crudos (nueces, avellanas y almendras) durante 14 semanas sobre la calidad y funcionalidad del semen. No solamente para evaluar la eficacia del consumo regular de frutos secos sobre diferentes parámetros seminales convencionales clínicamente importantes y bien reconocidos: vitalidad, motilidad, concentración y morfología, sino también analizar el mecanismo por el cual podría haber una mejoría en los parámetros seminales. Los mecanismos que se estudiaron fueron: la fragmentación de DNA, la evaluación de las especies reactivas de oxigeno (ROS), los perfiles de expresión de miRNAs, la metilación global del DNA y la estabilidad cromosómica (FISH, Cr. X, Y, 18). El presente estudio está en la última fase de desarrollo y por tanto no se podrán presentar resultados finales, pero se mostrarán algunos resultados preliminares.
La siguiente conferencia pretende describir cuales son los factores causantes principales de la infertilidad masculina. Éstos se pueden clasificar como factores no modificables y factores modificables. Entre los no modificables se identifican la edad o algunas enfermedades genéticas. Dentro de los factores modificables (mucho más interesantes a nivel clínico-preventivo) se identifican el estrés, algunos medicamentos y drogas, la contaminación ambiental, el alcohol y tabaco y el sobrepeso. No obstante, recientemente, una gran variedad de artículos de estudios observacionales, y algún que otro clínico, han puesto de manifiesto que la alimentación podría tener un peso relativo importante en la modulación de la fertilidad masculina. Es por ese motivo que realizamos una revisión sistemática. El objetivo final del estudio fue el de documentar científicamente si hay algunos patrones nutricionales, alimentos y/o nutrientes que son claves en la modulación de los parámetros seminales. Para más información ver referencia: Salas-Huetos et al. 2017. Dietary patterns, foods and nutrients in male fertility parameters and fecundability: a systematic review of observational studies. Human Reproduction Update, 23(4), 371–389.
Albert Salas-Huetos
added an update
Background and motivation
Human semen quality has declined in industrialized nations where pollution, smoking, and trends toward a Western-style diet are hypothesized as potential causes. Although importance of diet to human reproductive success is clear, existing dietary recommendations primarily focus on women’s reproductive health with less attention given to men. Because nuts have a considerable amount of several nutrients that have been implicated in the modulation of several mechanism implicated in male fertility, we hypothesize that tree nut consumption added to a Western-style diet would beneficially affect semen quality and functionality.
 
Albert Salas-Huetos
added a research item
Albert Salas-Huetos
added a project goal
The main objective of the present study is to evaluate on healthy individuals reporting eating a Western-style diet, the effect of chronic consumption of a mixture of tree nuts (60 g/day) on several semen quality parameters and sexual health.