Caffeine is the most widely used psychotropic drug in the world. In a strict sense, hundreds of millions of people are “addicts”, drinking coffee every morning just to avoid the fatigue caused by caffeine withdrawal.
Because caffeine is widely used, scientists often study the stimulant. Caffeine improves exercise performance. Caffeine can reduce the symptoms of depression, caffeine can also raise blood pressure, the impact is endless.
Surprisingly, however, there are few studies on the relationship between caffeine and male infertility. A systematic review by a group of Italian researchers published in the journal Nutrition fills this information gap.
After consulting a large number of published research reports, researchers found 28 related studies involving nearly 20000 subjects. They then studied each study carefully to reveal the effects of caffeine on semen quality, sperm DNA and the time required to conceive.
In general, men who drink coffee every day should be satisfied with the result.
The researchers did not find any adverse effects of caffeine intake on semen volume, sperm count, sperm concentration or sperm motility.
However, one study did find that men who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had slightly higher rates of sperm abnormalities.
As for the effect of caffeine on the duration of pregnancy, studies often find that moderate intake has no effect. Men who drink less than three cups of caffeine a day don’t have to worry about their coffee drinking habits affecting their partner’s pregnancy.
But the researchers did observe a disturbing finding. Many studies have found that daily caffeine intake is associated with increased sperm DNA damage, manifested as DNA double strand breaks and aneuploidy (abnormal chromosome number). It is conceivable that this damage may lead to difficult pregnancy or a higher rate of genetic aberrations in children. However, this potential link is weak and needs further study.
It should be noted that not all caffeinated drinks are the same. These reviews consistently suggest that daily consumption of caffeinated soft drinks is highly associated with male infertility, most likely due to the sugar content of caffeinated drinks. Low calorie tea and coffee are generally harmless.
According to the current scientific evidence, men with moderate caffeine intake should not worry too much about their habits hindering their fertility.
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