Men who eat a diet containing even modest amounts of soya products could be adversely affecting their sperm count, according to a recent medical study by scientists in the United States.
Even small amounts of soya products, now frequently used in the Western world as meat and dairy substitutes, as well as popularly used in Eastern cuisines, lowered the sperm count, and those with the highest intake of soya-based food had almost half the level of active sperm in their semen.
Scientists believe that isoflavones, a compound found in soya, mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen, which could therefore explain the reduction in sperm levels.
Soya products which can cause this affect include tofu, tempeh, soy sausages, bacon, burgers and mince, soy milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, and soya-based roasted nuts, drinks, powders, and energy bars.
However, it’s not a cut-and-dried case, because researchers also believe that obesity plays a major factor in determining sperm count. That is probably why Asian men, who will often have a diet rich in soya products, are still fertile – obesity is much less of a problem in Asian countries, whereas in the US and other Western countries it is a serious, and increasing, issue.
(Via Yahoo! News)