New study shows eating seafood regularly could help improve the sex lives and fertility of couples.
Cause and effect couldn’t be proved, but the researchers noted that couples who consumed more fish on weekly basis were more likely to conceive children during the year of the study.
“Our study suggests seafood can have many reproductive benefits, including shorter time to pregnancy and more frequent sexual activity,” said study author Audrey Gaskins, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
The new research was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Harvard researchers tracked results for 500 couples in Michigan and Texas for one year for the study. All of the couples were planning a pregnancy, and the couples recorded the amount of seafood they ate and kept daily journals of their sexual activity.
The findings indicated that couples who ate seafood more than twice each week had sex more often, an average of 22 percent more frequently than couples who consumed less fish.
According to the findings, 92 percent of the couples who ate seafood more than twice each week were expecting a child by the end of the study, compared to 79 percent of the couples who ate less seafood.
The researchers noted this link between seafood consumption and pregnancy couldn’t be explained exclusively by more frequent sex the couples were having. That suggests that eating seafood might affect quality of semen, ovulation or embryo quality.
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Gaskins, in a news release from The Endocrine Society said:
“Our results stress the importance of not only female but also male diet on time to pregnancy and suggests that both partners should be incorporating more seafood into their diets for the maximum fertility benefit.”
Gaskins and her team published their study findings online May 23 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Dr. Tomer Singer, director reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City stressed that a cause-and-effect relationship isn’t clear. He wasn’t involved in the new study
It’s undefined “if these couples benefit from the actual ingredients found in seafood,” Singer said. Maybe “these findings were spontaneous and these couples were actually healthier, ate a healthier diet in general or had more ‘sushi night’ dates,” Singer stated.
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Fish is rich in protein and other nutrients that are beneficial for pregnant women and those trying to conceive, but many expectant mothers reduce their consumption due to fears about mercury exposure.
“What is sure, is that this study will help encourage couples who are avoiding seafood due to fear of high mercury to eat seafood two to three times a week, as most seafood in the U.S. has low mercury levels,” Singer said.
Exposure to mercury can affect the development of children and unborn babies.
Some types of fish that have potentially harmful levels of mercury include; swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 90 percent of the fish in the United States contains low concentrations of mercury and is safe to consume.