Male diet matters too

images-2There’s no shortage of advice for women about what they ought to eat – and ought not to eat – when they’re trying to conceive, but two new studies show that male diet is important too.

Two separate research teams looked at the effect of diet on sperm, and concluded that what a man eats can have an impact on his offspring. One team studied the effect of a high fat diet and the other a low protein diet and although they used mice for their work, researchers believe that the results in humans are likely to be similar.

When the male mice were fed a high fat diet, their offspring’s resistance to insulin and glucose intolerance were affected. When they were fed a low protein diet, the researchers reported changes to the genes that are responsible for the development of stem cells. The two papers were both published in the journal Science and you can read more about them here

 

Could parasites help you get pregnant?

Toxocara_(roundworm)_(15703615095)It sounds horrible – a parasitic worm that lives in your intestines… But researchers at the University of California in Santa Barbara believe that it could have a positive impact on female fertility, and they’ve just published a scientific paper in the journal Science to back up their theory.

Apparently, the theory was first given credit when a graduate student at the University who was doing fieldwork in Bolivia got pregnant as soon as she decided to start a baby and cited the parasites as the reason for her fertility.  Researchers studied a group living in Central Bolivia and found that the worms did have an effect. Younger women who had roundworm got pregnant more quickly, whilst those who had hookworm took longer to get pregnant.

I can’t imagine anyone wanting to get parasitic roundworm deliberately, and it does sound rather crazy – but if you’re interested, you can read more here