Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Nutr. 2019 Feb;121(4):451-460. doi: 10.1017/S0007114518003458.

Meat intake in relation to semen quality and reproductive hormone levels among young men in Spain.

Author information

1Department of Nutrition,Harvard School of Public Health,Boston,MA 02115,USA.
2Department of Health and Social Sciences, Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health,University of Murcia School of Medicine,IMIB-Arrixaca,30100 Espinardo,Murcia,Spain.
4CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP),Institute of Health-ISCIII,28029 Madrid,Spain.
6Department of Growth and Reproduction,International Center for Research and Research Training in Endocrine Disruption of Male Reproduction and Child Health (EDMaRC),Rigshospitalet,University of Copenhagen,DK-2100 Copenhagen,Denmark.


The aim of this study was to assess the associations of intake of different types of meat with semen parameters and reproductive hormones in healthy young men. This cross-sectional study included 206 men, 18-23 years, from Southern Spain. All men completed a validated FFQ, underwent a physical examination, and provided blood and semen samples. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the associations between meat intake with semen quality parameters and reproductive hormones. Total meat intake was unrelated to semen quality or reproductive hormone levels. When subgroups of meat were separately considered, however, shellfish intake was positively related to progressive motility. The adjusted percentages of progressively motile spermatozoa for men in increasing quartiles of shellfish intake were 45·2, 42·0, 49·4 and 53·2 % with a significant linear trend across quartiles (P trend≤0·001). In contrast, men who consumed organ meats had significantly lower progressive sperm motility (51·5 v. 42·8 %; P = 0·001) and higher luteinising hormone levels (4·0 v. 4·6 IU/l; P = 0·03) compared with men who did not consume organ meats. Intake of shellfish and organ meats was low in this population, however. Given the scarcity of data on the relation between specific types of meat with semen quality and reproductive hormone levels, additional research is needed to confirm or refute these findings.


E2 oestradiol; LH luteinising hormone; Fish; Meat; Semen motility; Semen quality parameters; Shellfish

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center