Is bacon the new birth control for men? New study says that bacon isn’t just unhealthy for your heart but eating just one piece of bacon daily can be detrimental to the fertility of a man. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that men who ate processed meat, like bacon, on a regular basis had notably reduced amounts of normal sperm. In addition to bacon, meats like hamburgers, sausages, mince and ham also had a negative impact.
On average, men who ate less than one piece of bacon a day had at least 30 percent more regular sperm as opposed to those who ate larger quantities of processed meats.
Researchers gathered information from 156 men. These men, along with a partner, were going through in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is the combining of a man’s sperm and woman’s egg in a laboratory dish. In vitro simply means “outside the body.” IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology to help a woman become pregnant when they are experiencing difficulties.
Each of the participating guys were questioned about their diet as it related to chicken, fish, beef and processed meat. Their findings suggested that the men who consumed more than a half portion of bacon daily had significantly less “normal” sperm as opposed to those that didn’t.
Dr. Myriam Afeiche, author of the study, said her team found that the effect of eating processed meat lowered sperm quality. Afeiche also stated that few studies have inspected the relationship between fertility and bacon and therefore she’s not exact on why these types of food would have a negative effect on sperm quality.
Some other health professionals say that the study was too small to really convince them but this may prompt more studies on this subject matter.
Fertility expert, Allan Pacey of the University of Sheffield, said it is true that a healthy diet can improve fertility in males but it’s not as clear whether or not specific foods can cause deterioration in the quality of sperm. Percy said that the relationship between men’s fertility and diet is definitely interesting. There is evidence that men who eat more fresh vegetables and fruit have a better sperm quality than those who don’t; but not as much evidence is known about those with poor diets.
What is known is the temptation for many to eat bacon is difficult to ignore. Unfortunately bacon, even outside of the negative effect it has on sperm, doesn’t have a lot of good nutritional value. It’s not all bad because it does have choline; which is good for the brain and has some monounsaturated fatty acids, which are also good for you.
The big problems with bacon are the high amounts of saturated fats and sodium. Saturated fats are closely associated with cardiovascular diseases and sodium effects blood pressure. One strip of bacon only packs about 40 calories but since it is hard to each just one and those calories can add up very quickly.
An option to regular bacon is tempeh bacon. Tempeh is a vegan alternative that many substitute for pork bacon. It is rich in protein and many serious vegetarians prefer this soy product.
The study on whether or not bacon is the new birth control was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Boston.
Perhaps this study will lead to further investigation on the subject and produce more compelling evidence. As it stands now, women should keep taking the pill until more studies determine whether or not bacon will be the new birth control for those of the opposite sex.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)