Friday, August 17, 2012

That's Nuts!

Every once in a while a study comes along that makes you want to smile. Not because the news is so great, but because the implications are amusing. Don't get me wrong. For those who have such a problem, I guess this really is good news. For the rest of us and perhaps the ladies, it is just a really interesting finding. In fact, it's so interesting that I can only wonder who came up with the idea to study it in the first place. In this case, it appears to be the California Walnut Commission.

So here's what the study showed. Men, in the case of the study mostly young men aged 21 to 35 (mean age 25), who added 75 grams, a little less than a cup, of whole-shelled walnuts a day to their diet improved their semen parameters.

According to Wendie Robbins, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues, after eating these 75 grams a day of walnuts for 12 weeks, these young men had better sperm vitality, motility, and morphology compared with those who avoided tree nuts altogether.

It also turned out to increase a very healthy omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid as nuts, and walnuts in particular, have a high concentration of this fatty acid in addition to omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, and micronutrients like folic acid.

Unfortunately, there was no report that having more virile sperm had any effect on the young men's sexual performance. Nor was there any information regarding what effect such walnut consumption would have on older men's sperm. Also, before you go out and get nuts about walnuts just be aware that 75 grams equals about 500 calories. As far as I'm concerned these are good calories, but still a lot of them.

For men who have low sperm counts or less effective sperm, and are trying to father a child, this study appears to offer another avenue of pursuit.  For the rest of us, we should keep eating nuts for the same nutrients, but obviously for different benefits.  Who knows what they will find out tomorrow about the benefits of walnuts and other nuts? I can't wait.

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