What do Soy and Sperm Count Have in Common
The research did not find a negative relationship between soy and sperm mobility or sperm quality, which are both key factors to fertility.Caution: headlines claiming "soy products may lower sperm count" do not tell the whole story. The small scale, preliminary study that Dr. Jorge Chavarro from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine was based on recollected intake of soyfoods and not on specific diets containing soyfoods.
"This study is confounded by many issues, thus I feel the results should be viewed with a great deal of caution," warned Dr. Tammy Hedland, a researcher on male fertility issues, including soy, from the Health Sciences Center, Department of Pathology at the University of Colorado.
The research did not find a negative relationship between soy and sperm mobility or sperm quality, which are both key factors to fertility. The study also did not determine directly what other foods, medications, supplements, existing medical conditions, sexual activities or environmental factors may have directly affected the drop in sperm count.
Generations of Asians have regularly consumed soyfoods without fertility disorders, and Asian countries have prodigiously produced very healthy, highly functioning children for centuries. According to New Scientist, "Chavarro admits that many East Asian men consume much more soya than the participants in his trial and do not develop fertility problems. He speculates that his study found a link between soya and low sperm count because many of the participants were overweight or obese. Men with high levels of body fat produce more oestrogen than their slim counterparts."