Vegetarians and vegans had significantly lower sperm counts compared with meat eaters, 50 million sperm per ml compared with 70 million per ml. They also had lower average sperm motility – the number of sperm which are active. Only one third of sperm were active for vegetarians and vegans compared with nearly 60 per cent for meat eaters.So, the good news is that vegetarians are gradually breeding themselves out of existence. This should scotch any idea of going vegetarian for future generations, as it is a literally anti-selection dietary measure. In fertility terms, the vegetarian man is literally less than one-third the average omnivorous man.
The team believes that vitamin deficiencies may be to blame but also believe that replacing meat with soy could be responsible.
“We found that diet does significantly affect sperm quality. Vegetarian and vegan diets were associated with much lower sperm counts than omnivorous diets,” said Dr Eliza Orzylowska an obstetrician at Loma Linda University Medical Centre in California.
“Although these people are not infertile, in is likely to play a factor in conception, particularly for couples who are trying to conceive naturally. the old fashioned way.”
One factor could be diets rich in soy, the researchers hypothesis. Soy contains phyto-oestrogens which have similar properties to the female hormone oestrogen.
Hypothesis: an investigation of diet and socio-sexual rank would find that vegetarians make up an disproportionate percentage of Gammas and Omegas.