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Bacon Can Lower Sperm Quality

Update Date: Oct 15, 2013 04:41 PM EDT

That BLT sandwich may cut a man's chances of becoming a father. Scientists found that eating just one rasher of bacon a day can significantly harm sperm quality.

However, eating fish like cod or halibut can significantly improve fertility in men.

Researchers explain that certain foods like red meat is thought to contain high levels of pesticides and other substances that can disrupt hormones. However, foods like fish, which is rich in zinc, is believed to improve sperm quality.

In the study, researchers looked at the eating habits of 156 men undergoing IVF treatment with their partners.

The men were asked how often they ate foods like processed meat, white meat, red meat, white fish and tuna or salmon. The findings revealed that men who ate just half a portion of processed meat a day had just 5.5 percent "normal" shaped sperm cells compared to 7.2 percent of those who ate less.  In contrast, men who ate half a portion of white fish a day had significantly better sperm quality.

"We found the effect of processed meat intake lowered quality and fish raised quality," said lead researcher Dr. Myriam Afeiche, according to the Daily Mail.

The latest findings were presented this week at the meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Boston, Harvard University.

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