Gents, if you want your swimmers to get some tail action, best tuck into a plate of fish.

To understand the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in male fertility, it’s important to understand the anatomy of sperm.

As researchers from the University of Illinois explain it, normal
sperm are composed of a cap-like structure that surrounds the anterior
end of the sperm head called the acrosome.

It’s here, in the cap, where the enzymes needed to successfully penetrate an egg are housed and concentrated. 

But in order for the sperm to develop this arch or cap-like structure
and the rest of the building blocks needed to fuse the rest of the
sperm together — pointy head and extra long tail — sperm need a
certain omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the study,
announced Monday, found.

“Without DHA, this vital structure doesn’t form and sperm cells don’t work,” said Timothy Abbott, study co-author.

Marine fish like salmon and tuna are excellent sources of DHA.

The scientist began to investigate the importance of DHA in male
fertility after finding that mice which lacked the fatty acid were
basically infertile.

When DHA was introduced into the mice’s diet, however, fertility was completely restored.

Because DHA is also abundant in tissues like the brain, retina and
the testes, authors of the study say their research could have
implications relating to brain function and cognitive illnesses like
dementia and vision.

Meanwhile, another study out of Harvard University last year also
found that poor nutrition can damage sperm quality, as those who
consumed diets high in saturated fats including deep-fried and processed
foods had poor-quality swimmers compared to men who ate whole grains,
vegetables and fish regularly.

Foods that have been shown to boost male fertility include eggs,
salmon, natural yogurt, nuts, seeds, berries, sweet potatoes, broccoli
and asparagus.