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What's the Connection Between Soy and Sperm Count?

What's the Connection Between Soy and Sperm Count?

With all this talk about meat and dairy products causing heart problems, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, more people are switching to alternative foods made with low fat, high protein soy. Tofu, soy milk, and fermented soy products such as tempeh, miso soup, and soy sauce are just a few, and so many people are adding them to their diets to be healthier. Some rumors have been spread that eating soy causes breast cancer, but right now the American Institute for Cancer Research says that there's no evidence that proves this theory. Well that's good news for the ladies, but as far as men go, now there's talk about how soy may affect sperm count. A US study discovered that men who included soy in their diets (equivalent to one cup of soy milk or one serving of tofu every other day) had an average sperm count of 41 million sperm per milliliter less than men who didn't eat soy foods. Geez, that's a huge drop in those little guys!

Now before you freak out, this isn't to say that eating soy affects the chances of having a baby; after all, soy products have been a part of Asian diets for generations with no signs of fertility problems. Also, this study doesn't touch upon the quality of sperm, and since it only takes one good swimmer to make a baby, it seems that more research needs to be done before drawing any conclusions about tofu and fertility. So as with everything, I think moderation is the key.


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