Japan from the inside out

More tofu = lower fertility?

Posted by ampontan on Saturday, July 26, 2008

SKY TV in the UK presents this report on research at Harvard finding that higher soy intake leads to significantly lower sperm counts.

Sperm count ranges between 80 and 120 million sperm per millilitre (million/ml) of semen for normal healthy men.

But researchers in the US found that those with the highest soya intake had average counts of 41 million/ml lower than those of men who did not consume soya products.

Yes, even Sky TV knew the next question was obvious.

The scientists addressed the obvious question of why Asian men, who eat large amounts of soya, still appear to be fertile.

They pointed out that while obesity is increasing at alarming rates in the US, it is still much less common in Asia.

That’s because…

The research also brought more bad news for overweight or obese men, with the link between soya consumption and sperm count being stronger in that group.

Overweight men may be extra affected because their bodies produce more estrogen than slimmer people, the researchers believe.

Here’s a more detailed report on the Harvard study. The researchers said:

…the clinical significance of their research remains to be determined, and further randomised trials are needed.

Considering the population figures in East Asia, I think I’ll take this with a grain of salt pending further trials.

On second thought, I’ll skip the salt. It’s not very appetizing with tofu.

6 Responses to “More tofu = lower fertility?”

  1. Bryce said

    I once saw a similar study presented in the French news. There was serious talk of soy products being banned (or reduced) in France, because of the French fear that their men would be less able to perform.

  2. Jordan said

    I’ve had people tell me that using soy sauce, eating tofu, drinking soy milk, etc. would do a number of things including decreased sex drive, infertility, and even make me become a homosexual.

    Sounds like scare tactics and stupidity to me. Nothing like tofu in sukiyaki and nabe. Can’t beat it.

  3. James A said

    Reports like this always make me laugh. Yes, too much of a certain food can have negative effects. But how many of them advocate actually having a BALANCED diet? Meaning, a diet where you vary what you eat every day? So many of these articles tell people preposterous things like “More Cocoa will stop cancer!” Yet, many people will probably still take sugar with their cocoa and end up getting diabetes instead.

  4. mac said

    Not too forget the “small penis” fear story put out into the media a few years ago. Probably by the Steer Breeders of Texas Association who are used to having something far more substantial in their hands come insemination day the ranch.

    There is always gomadofu if the stories get to you.

  5. bender said

    How about soy sauce?

  6. And the BBC reported recently that tofu may also cause dementia! [link]

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