According to a recent report on the prevalence of couple infertility in the U.S., approximately 9 – 14% of men are experiencing fertility problems. Low sperm count and decreased sperm mobility is the leading cause of male infertility and may be a result of poor health and/or external factors. Because fertility clinics frequently advise men to make healthy dietary and lifestyle choices to increase their fertility, we have to ask: could drinking milk and honey help?
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To see if there is any truth to this, there are some studies done and they have shown that honey increase sperm count. Here is what studies have to say on this topic.
Milk and Sperm Count
Regular consumption of dairy products and their effect on fertility is a controversial subject these days. On the one hand, milk is a rich source of vitamin D and calcium which are both important for semen quality, and studies show that a deficiency of both increased infertility rates in men. Furthermore, milk is also a rich source of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 which studies show is important in the production of sperm cells.
On the other hand, changes in the dairy industry were also strongly linked to the rise of infertility among men. Because commercial milk is taken from cows at different stages of pregnancy, the milk we drink today is particularly high in the female hormone estrogen. In fact, 70% of animal derived-estrogen in our diet comes from milk and dairy. But whether this has a direct effect on male fertility is still a mystery.
What about Skim Milk?
A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility included men attending treatment at a fertility clinic and who filled out a food frequency questionnaire. According to the study’s findings, men who consumed more low-fat dairy products had a 33% higher sperm count and 9.3% higher sperm mobility than men who did not consume the same foods.
On the other hand, men consuming high-fat dairy such as cheese had a 53.2% lower sperm count. Because sex hormones such as estrogen are fat-soluble, it might be natural to assume that low-fat dairy intake results in less circulating estrogen. However, the researchers from this study believe that this is not the case. Instead, low-fat products contribute to better overall health in men which helps with sperm count.
Honey as a Fertility Miracle
Honey is not as controversial for the subject of fertility treatment as milk. In fact, most research on honey has found this antioxidant-packed food may be the perfect treatment for male infertility. One study examined the protective effects of honey on rats with cigarette smoke-induced testicular damage.
The study’s findings were that honey was quite efficient in protecting sperm count and mobility. Honey is also a rich source of zinc which is a trace mineral that plays a huge role in male reproductive health. A study published in Nutrition Research even found that fertile men exhibited higher semen concentrations of this mineral even when they were smokers. Another study found that adding honey to semen taken from infertile men for the purpose of freezing resulted in better sperm quality post-thawing.
Combination on both
Although there aren’t many studies examining the combination of milk and honey on male fertility, one study did find promising results. The study examined the effects of honey, garlic, and skim milk on semen quality of sheep semen. The results show that all three foods reduced sperm deterioration. The reason for this is that honey offers cell-protective benefits as it is a rich source of antioxidants while garlic has a strong antimicrobial effect. Honey and milk are also a rich source of sugar and protein which help maintain sperm metabolism and energy.
Furthermore, carbohydrates mediate the binding of the sperm and the egg, so for successful conception, a man should eat a good source of carbs. Besides this, both macronutrients are important for sperm count and mobility as the intake of proteins and carbs is positively associated with an increase in sperm count and mobility to protect your sperm naturally. After all, sperm production does require a lot of energy that men can definitely get from a drink containing milk and honey.
Couples treated for fertility problems are usually advised to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a nutritious and healthy meal diet.
Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption is a must for men facing fertility problems. Besides this, men can benefit from natural remedies such as milk and honey drink to increase their sperm quality, as research has indicated that honey increase sperm count.
The reason why milk and honey help in sperm count and mobility is mostly because both are a rich source of protein and carbohydrates– two important nutrients for sperm production. Furthermore, honey offers protective benefits to sperm by reducing cell damage from oxidative stress. Honey is also a rich source of the mineral zinc which is abundantly found in the prostate and which significantly influences male reproductive health.