Pregnancy Over 40: Essential Fatty Acids May Preserve Fertility
If you're trying to conceive, I recommend both men and women not drink alcohol. However, according to the article below, if men drink alcohol, they should also eat fish to help preserve their fertility. Fish are a good sourse of essential fatty acids. Read more:
Eating Fish Especially Important If You Drink High Levels Of Alcohol - Could Prevent Infertility (www.medicalnewstoday.com)
From the article:
Results are published in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
"Essential fatty acids are important building blocks of living cells, making up a substantial part of cell walls," explained Norman Salem, Jr., chief of the Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism "EFAs also have many biological functions, and a lack of them leads to loss of growth and development, infertility, and a host of physiological and biochemical abnormalities." Salem is also the study's corresponding author.
The most important EFAs are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), said J. Thomas Brenna, professor of human nutrition and of chemistry & chemical biology at Cornell University. Particularly two types, Brenna noted: the omega-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA), also called n-6 fats, and the omega-3 PUFA linolenic acid (ALA), also called n-3 fats. "Most Americans consume adequate amounts of LA in their diets through the use of vegetable oils, but tend to have low intakes of ALA," said Brenna.
This imbalance, added Salem, has become pronounced only in the last century and many believe it is a source of the increase of many common diseases in Western society. Salem and his co-authors wanted to investigate what influence alcohol consumption might have on EFA imbalance in the Western diet.
Researchers used data from 4,168 adults who self-reported their alcohol consumption as part of the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were also interviewed about their EFA intake during a single previous 24-hour period.
Results indicate that EFA intake drops as alcohol consumption increases, particularly among men.
"Our most important finding is the decrease in n-3 EFA intake in binge-drinking men," said Salem. "We really couldn't evaluate women who binge drink two or more times per week due to the low numbers in this population, although it is quite possible that we would obtain similar findings. The changes we found indicate that those who drink alcohol make food selections in such a way as to decrease foods with this important nutrient. The binge-drinking men have decreases in the longer chain n-3 fatty acids, the ones that we typically get from eating fish, and so this suggests that they eat less fish."