Couples who are planning to build a family and working toward having children are often advised to abstain from alcohol. Men are told to not drink for it could damage their sperm's health, but a recent study has shown that alcohol might indeed help improve sperm count.
The study found that moderate drinkers are, in fact, more fertile. Research involved about 323 adult men broken up into four groups, notes a report by Popular Mechanics. Groups were split up based on how many drinks each of them drank every week and were separated—no alcohol, one to three drinks, four to seven, and over eight.
When compared to the other groups, men who were in the four to seven drinks per week category were found to have a much higher count and semen volume, notes the report— a high sperm count is known as an important sign of fertility.
Researchers were studying the men and their semen for a duration of two years so that they could get a clear idea of sperm health, notes the report. Apart from just their drinking habits, participants were also monitored on their general health and lifestyle this included smoking, caffeine intake, physical activity and so on. Activities that impact sperm health was also taken into consideration and accounted for, after which, researchers determined that men who consumed four to seven alcoholic drinks in a week on average had the highest sperm counts, among the study participants, suggesting that they were more fertile.
This study, however, had one major drawback, points out the report—men participating in the study had to self report on how much alcohol they had in a week. That means there is a margin for error as the exact number of beers that an individual had in a week, at that one party might not always be accurate.
What does this mean?
The report points out that this finding is already in line with popular medical advice and that is to not go overboard with the drinking. Too much alcohol is not good for health in general, let alone sperm health. Eating healthy, taking the recommend portions of fruits and vegetables, as well as exercising and avoiding hot tubs, notes the report can keep sperm healthy.
Researchers only proved that there is a correlation between moderate drinking and higher sperm count and not that drinking causes the sperm count to increase.
The study was first published in the journal Andrology.