Consumption Of Soft Drinks Lowers The Amount Of Semen
Soft drinks/sodas are considered as the most popular beverage around the globe. Don’t we all love drinking those frizzy drinks that compliments almost every type of cuisine? However, for the past several decades, scientists have been researching the harmful effects of these carbonated beverages on our health. In fact, quite predictably, a new study suggested that high consumption of soft drinks can compromise the quality of semen; which can in turn lead to infertility (1).
Investigators at Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study in young males (18-22 years) to establish a clear association between sperm count in men and soda intake. The research team discovered that men who have high soda intake (more than 1.3 servings per day) had 9.8 percentile lower sperm count than males with less than 0.2 servings per day.
How Does High Soft Drink Consumption Lead To Lower Quality Of Semen?
Most of the deleterious effects of carbonated beverages are caused by high percentage of refined sugars. In a new research study that was conducted on the laboratory animals at the University of Utah, investigators designed a comprehensive experiment to assess the effects of soda consumption on the sperm count. As part of the study, male mice were given food which was comparable to a normal human diet, along with the sugar content present in three cans of soda (or about 25% extra sugar content). Over time, it was observed that the rate of reproduction in male mice declined by up to 25%. An important thing to consider is that during the study no obesity or rise in blood pressure was observed in the male mice. This also means that high sugar intake has a direct negative effect on the male fertility; regardless of the metabolic syndrome (2).
Zaii Medical Center in Seoul, Korea also conducted a study to check the effects of soda consumption on the semen quality. Results indicated that drinking any kind of soda leads to 37% lesser production of semen in comparison to those who do not drink soda/soft drinks.
What Are Other Hazardous Effects Of Chronic Consumption Of Soft Drinks?
Soft drinks are loaded with excessive sugar content, which not only affects your waistline but can ultimately lead to severe complications such as stroke or cardiovascular events. According to another study, soft drinks are also harmful for sperms and chronic consumption of soda (or refined sugar) is strongly linked to a significant reduction in the sperm count.
According to a Danish study, investigators discovered the strong association between infertility and excessive soda consumption (i.e. more than one liter per day) and identified that men who consume soft beverages on regular basis have poor quality semen and low sperm count. However, researchers were unable to determine whether the carbonated drink itself was responsible for poor quality sperms or the deleterious effects were attributed to the overall unhealthy lifestyle (3).
Does High Soda Intake Affect Female Sexual Health?
Soft drinks are not only dangerous for male reproductive health, but are also known to adversely affect the health in females. For example, excessive consumption of soda can make it difficult to successfully become pregnant. Besides fertility issues, excessive consumption of frizzy carbonated drinks can also increase the risk of mortality in women. Researchers from university of Utah also found that the risk of mortality in female mice who were fed on excess sugar content was higher than their normal counterparts. The team explained that the higher mortality is mainly due to impaired elimination of excess sugar in female mice (2).
It is highly recommended to avoid/ limit the intake of sugar and aerated beverages in order to maintain optimal sexual health. Speak to a registered dietitian if you need help or guidance regarding modification of your dietary habits and healthy alternatives to substitute refined sugar in your diet.
1. Chiu, Y. H., Afeiche, M. C., Gaskins, A. J., Williams, P. L., Mendiola, J., Jørgensen, N., … & Chavarro, J. E. (2014). Sugar-sweetened beverage intake in relation to semen quality and reproductive hormone levels in young men. Human Reproduction, deu102.
2. Ruff, J. S., Suchy, A. K., Hugentobler, S. A., Sosa, M. M., Schwartz, B. L., Morrison, L. C., … & Potts, W. K. (2013). Human-relevant levels of added sugar consumption increase female mortality and lower male fitness in mice. Nature communications, 4.
3. Sermondade, N., Faure, C., Fezeu, L., Shayeb, A. G., Bonde, J. P., Jensen, T. K., … & Chavarro, J. E. (2012). BMI in relation to sperm count: an updated systematic review and collaborative meta-analysis. Human reproduction update, dms050.