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Does Coffee Help Sperm Do Their Thing?

Coffee and getting pregnant

Does a morning cup help sperm performance?

The new book, Coffee: Grounds for Debate, part of the Philosophy for Everyone series, has put together a collection of musing on the caffeinated beverage and attitudes, feelings, and debates around it since it was discovered in 15th century Egypt.

One of the questions raised in the book, and brought up in yesterday’s Guardian article on the collection, is what effect coffee can have on sperm.

Could a coffee habit give sperm a head start? I’ve heard that idea before but I’d never seen any studies myself.

Turns out, there is reason to think that coffee gives the little swimmers a boost: 

For example, Brazilian scientists tested sperm quality in 750 men who ranged from those who never drank coffee to major addicts, and found that those who drank more coffee had higher sperm motility than those who abstained. The major coffee habit didn’t affect hormone levels or the quality of sperm, just how fast and well they moved.

Then again, a study of over 2,000 Danish men found that high caffeine intake (they used soda and coffee interchangeably) was associated with decreased sperm concentration.

Does it mean that sperm counts could take a hit from excessive caffeine, but the ones who are left get an extra boost to do their job? The Brazilian researchers even suggested the idea of some components of coffee being used in fertility treatments.

Had you heard about the sperm-coffee debate? What’s your take – unhealthy for dad to have his four-shot latte every morning, or does it wake his sperm up too?

Image: flickr

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