(NaturalNews) A worldwide decline in sperm quality has been a pressing concern for a long time, and there is no shortage of studies to verify this worrying trend. According to a new study by researchers from the Department of Preventative Medicine and Public Health at the University of Murcia in Spain; however, the problem might be worse than previously anticipated: Sperm quality in young Spanish males has declined by up to 38 percent in one decade alone.
The researchers, who monitored the spermatozoid concentration of 215 men between the ages of 18 and 23, found that the average concentration lowered from 72 million spermatozoids/ml in 2001 to 52 million/ml in 2011, resulting in an average decrease of two percent per year. Since a spermatozoid concentration of 40 million/ml or fewer can severely compromise the likelihood of conception, the implications of these statistics are significant.
"If the rate of loss we have outlines continues, with an average decline in quality of two percent per year, the sperm of young men could reach this danger level of 40 million/ml in a very short space of time," said Professor Jaime Mendiola, one of the co-researchers.
Alberto Torres Cantero, lead researcher and professor of Preventative Medicine and Public Health at the university, believes that the trend is linked to an increasingly unhealthy diet among young Spanish males, coupled with rising sedentariness.
"We believe that some prevention actions involving lifestyle improvements, such as a healthier diet, could increase sperm quality," Professor Cantero concluded.
Declining sperm quality is a global phenomenon
Although Mendiola and Cantero's study limits itself to young Spanish men, the problem of declining sperm quality is an international one. Almost all men in the United States and Western Europe, for instance, possess far lower sperm concentrations than their grandfathers, and current statistics suggest that future generations of men will possess lower sperm concentrations than their fathers.
While numerous studies have verified the Spanish professors' conclusions that unhealthy diets are linked to low sperm concentrations, in reality there isn't one single cause for the decline. Indeed, today's youth are assaulted from all angles by electromagnetic radiation, restrictive and chemical-laden clothing, BPA in plastics, allopathic drugs, and much more. Improved nutrition and more active lifestyles will certainly help to reverse the trend, but there are also other ways to improve fertility rates.
About the author: Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.