Sperm count and quality, and whether coffee affects it, has remained largely unknown. However, new research has finally revealed how many mugs a man can drink a day without it harming their fertility.In the UK we drink approximately 55 million cups of coffee per day, according to the British Coffee Association.
Indeed, it’s the most widely-consumed psychoactive drug in the world.
This is where a chemical substance acts on the central nervous system to alter brain function, which can change perception, mood, consciousness and behaviour.
Recent research suggests it can also help you live longer.
But while it’s effect on lifespan, exercise, depression and blood pressure – among other topics – has been much studied, there’s been little academic focus on its impact on male fertility.
However, new Italian research has finally delved into the subject.
The findings, published in the Nutrition Journal, reveal that daily caffeine intake it ok – up until a certain point.
In the review they looked at 20,000 subjects involved in 28 studies, analysing the popular drink’s effect on semen quality, sperm DNA, and the time required to conceive.
They discovered that there weren’t any adverse effects of caffeine intake on semen volume, sperm count, sperm concentration, or sperm mortality.
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However, that was as long as the number of cups of coffee wasn’t overdone.
Men who drank more than four a day had a higher proportion of abnormally-shaped sperm.
They concluded that for men drinking less than three coffees a day there shouldn’t be a negative effect on the time intakes them to conceive with a partner.
That said, the impact of coffee might simply be delayed.In a number of studies the researchers found that daily caffeine intake may cause increased sperm DNA damage in the form of double-strand DNA breaks and aneuploidy , the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes.
This could lead to a higher rate of genetic aberrations in children, but it needs further study.
The researchers advise sticking to low-calorie tea and coffee.
Drinking caffeinated soft drinks was associated with male infertility, thought to be due to the high sugar levels.
It may be wise to stay off the iced coffee too – faeces have been discovered in the ice of drinks at certain popular coffee chains.
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