Caffeine intake and semen quality in a population of 2,554 young Danish men

Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Apr 15;171(8):883-91. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq007. Epub 2010 Mar 25.


The authors examined the association between semen quality and caffeine intake among 2,554 young Danish men recruited when they were examined to determine their fitness for military service in 2001-2005. The men delivered a semen sample and answered a questionnaire including information about caffeine intake from various sources, from which total caffeine intake was calculated. Moderate caffeine and cola intakes (101-800 mg/day and < or =14 0.5-L bottles of cola/week) compared with low intake (< or =100 mg/day, no cola intake) were not associated with semen quality. High cola (>14 0.5-L bottles/week) and/or caffeine (>800 mg/day) intake was associated with reduced sperm concentration and total sperm count, although only significant for cola. High-intake cola drinkers had an adjusted sperm concentration and total sperm count of 40 mill/mL (95% confidence interval (CI): 32, 51) and 121 mill (95% CI: 92, 160), respectively, compared with 56 mill/mL (95% CI: 50, 64) and 181 mill (95% CI: 156, 210) in non-cola-drinkers, which could not be attributed to the caffeine they consumed because it was <140 mg/day. Therefore, the authors cannot exclude the possibility of a threshold above which cola, and possibly caffeine, negatively affects semen quality. Alternatively, the less healthy lifestyle of these men may explain these findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Caffeine / adverse effects*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Denmark
  • Drinking Behavior*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Men*
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Regression Analysis
  • Semen Analysis*
  • Semen*
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Caffeine