Diet and men's fertility: does diet affect sperm quality?

Fertil Steril. 2018 Sep;110(4):570-577. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2018.05.025.


Male contribution to a couple's fecundity is important, and identifying the dietary factors that can influence male fertility potential is of high importance. Despite this importance, there are currently no clear clinical guidelines for male patients seeking fertility treatment. In this review, we present the most up-to-date evidence about diet and male fertility in humans. We focus on the dietary factors necessary for production of healthy functioning sperm with high fertility potential. Based on this review, men may be encouraged to use antioxidant supplements and to follow dietary patterns favoring the consumption of seafood, poultry, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Evidence is strongest for recommending the use of antioxidant supplements to men in couples undergoing infertility treatment-although the specific antioxidants and doses remain unclear-and increasing consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from fish and nuts.

Keywords: Infertility; dietary supplements; food; male diet/therapy; semen analysis; vitamins/therapeutic use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Diet / methods
  • Diet / trends
  • Diet, Healthy / methods*
  • Diet, Healthy / trends
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / chemically induced
  • Infertility, Male / diet therapy*
  • Infertility, Male / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Pesticides / adverse effects
  • Semen Analysis / methods
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Sperm Motility / physiology*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Pesticides