Sugar and Male Fertility. Myth or Reality?

It is a common saying that excess sugar in the body has direct effect on male fertility.

Sugary foods (soft drinks, energy drinks, sweets, snacks e.t.c. contain a lot of sugar) When we talk about sugar-induced male infertility, it simply relates to reduced sperm quality. How does it happen?

Many scientific research have shown that diabetes in men have a direct effect on male fertility and diabetes in layman's language is uncontrolled body sugar.

First, lets understand the system that constitutes male fertility.

The male reproductive system creates sperm that is manufactured in the seminiferous tubules within each testicle. The head of the sperm contains the DNA, which when combined with the egg's DNA, will create a new individual. The tip of the sperm head is the portion called the acrosome, which enables the sperm to penetrate the egg. The midpiece contains the mitochondria which supplies the energy the tail needs to move. The tail moves with whip-like movements back and forth to propel the sperm towards the egg. The sperm have to reach the uterus and the fallopian tube in order to fertilize a woman's egg.

Sugar-sweetened beverages, including most energy drinks, contain a large dose of added sugar.

Too much sugar which is non-nutritive to begin with, is also associated with decreased male fertility.

Lean men who drink more than 1.3 servings of sugar-sweetened beverages each day experience a 9.8 percent reduction in sperm motility, according to a study done with 189 young men and published in 2014 in the "American Journal of Epidemiology."

An 8-ounce serving of the average energy drink contains 25 grams of sugar, which is equal to 6.25 teaspoons.

Many energy drink bottles and cans contain more than one serving hence; the more you drink, the more harm you cause.

Excess sugar intake causes three major problems which are related to fertility.

1. Diabetes related Hormonal Disruption

Food containing sugar are broken down quickly by the body. When there is increased sugar in the body, insulin level raises quickly signal cells in the body to assimilate glucose and this leads to other cascades of events. 
This affects hormone levels in the body. 
This quick spike in sugar levels creates a ‘high’ in our bodies that last from 15-30 minutes. After that, our sugar levels plummet, leaving the body drained and exhausted. This creates what is referred to as ‘fight or flight’ reaction in the body, due to continued stimulation of the adrenal glands. This drop in sugar levels, signal the adrenal glands to release the hormone cortisol and adrenalin in an attempt to replenish sugar levels. Repeated stimulation of the adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenalin, weakens the adrenal glands. Hormones produced by the adrenals are not produced in abundance; the adrenals become sluggish. This may lead to hormonal imbalance. Not enough hormones are being produced or released. Other endocrine glands are not being signaled to release their hormones and the entire communication of the endocrine system becomes broken. All of this repeated adrenal stimulation affects the hormone levels of estrogen, progesterone, and the androgens DHEA and testosterone. This goes for both women and men.
NOTE: Diabetics have a significant decrease in their ability to repair sperm DNA, and once this is damaged it cannot be restored. "Prevention is better than cure".
Diabetes & low libido
Low libido is the term used to describe a lack of interest in sexual activity. Sexual desire, or libido is produced by a combination of biological, personal and relationship factors. 

How does diabetes cause low libido?
Low testosterone levels in men with diabetes can cause low libido. In men with diabetes and erectile problems, the psychological effect of sexual dysfunction may lower their interest in sexual activity.

 2. Retrograde Ejaculation
Men with high blood glucose levels can develop retrograde ejaculation, a condition where the semen goes back into the bladder rather than being ejaculated normally during sex. Nerve damage prevents bladder muscles from tightening and keeping sperm out of the bladder during ejaculation. The number of sperm in the semen might be normal, but because most or all of the semen doesn't exit the body during orgasm, few or no sperm reach the woman's vagina. The sperm count in the ejaculate will appear very low. 
Cause: Nerve damage caused by medical illness — This is especially common in men with multiple sclerosis or with long-term, poorly controlled diabetes.

3. Damaged Semen
 Several studies have shown that men with type 2 diabetes with high glucose levels show signs of sperm damage. A published article in "The Times of India," found that men with diabetes had a sperm count less than half that found in healthy men. Sperm motility -- the ability to move -- was also about half that found in individuals without diabetes. A Portuguese study published in an issue of "Current Diabetes Review" also found that diabetic men had increased levels of sperm damage compared to men without diabetes.


Excess sugar intake is simply abuse.
The only way the immune system responds o abuse, assault, injury is by inflammation. This inflammation affects the joints and lower back such that pain is felt in those parts.

Sugar and male fertility... Still a myth? 
Other food substances that can cause male infertility are: Caffeine, Alcohol and chemicals in canned foods


 Mercola Articles, sciencedaily, healthyeating


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