Parenthood: It is time to increase your coffee consumption

Couples wishing for parenthood should review their attitude towards coffee. A study has revealed that men consuming two cups of coffee daily become more fertile and can hence increase the chance of pregnancy of their partner. To reach this conclusion, researchers studied 500 couples trying to conceive. Their findings were revealed at the yearly conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Denver: men drinking just two cups of coffee per day double the chance of pregnancy of their partner.

Coffee has a considerable impact on male fertility

For decades, many people have assumed that coffee has a negative impact on fertility. However, a recent study carried out to investigate its actual impact on fertility has brought forward contradictory results. As a matter of fact, drinking two cups of coffee per day was observed to make sperm stronger, affirmed Dr Sunni Mumford, the lead author of the study based at the US National Institute of Health. To improve chances of pregnancy, men are recommended to steadily consume two cups of coffee everyday as from one week prior to having sex.

Another study carried out by Brazilian urologist Dr. Fabio Pasqualotto, equally revealed that caffeine makes sperm more energetic and faster. For this study, the semen of 750 fertile men who were sexually active was examined. His team observed that men consuming at least one cup of coffee per day presented greater movement of their sperm. As a result, the increased mobility increases the chance of pregnancy as well. The urologist explained that the caffeine works as a stimulant for the sperm. It was also observed that coffee did not alter the number of sperm irrespective of the amount of coffee consumed daily. In men drinking coffee, 67% of their sperm had the mobility to reach the ovule while in those who did not consume coffee, only 54% of their sperm had that mobility.

Caffeine is a great stimulant

If caffeine has a stimulating effect, it is because it influences two major key chemicals in the body- guanosine triphosphate and adenosine triphosphate. Caffeine does not allow the breaking down of these chemicals and consequently, a higher level of energy is readily available to cells, including sperm. The latter can hence swim faster and for a longer period of time.

Will caffeine become a fertility elixir from now on? Based on the results of the research work, many couples aspiring for parenthood will no doubt try following this coffee regimen. Pregnant women, on the other hand, have to be cautious with their consumption of coffee. Mixed beliefs have always existed around it. Scientific research works have established that pregnant women can enjoy a cup of coffee now and then, without exceeding 200mg of caffeine per day. In other words, they can safely consume about two cups of instant coffee daily, as per guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. When buying coffee at the coffee shop, however, they need to be more vigilant as the caffeine per cup varies depending on the type of coffee and the brewing method. Lattes can be a safe option, containing some 75mg of caffeine only.

Nuts are also considered as a fertility elixir

Apart from coffee, various foods and beverages are considered as fertility boosters. One of the latest studies in this field was conducted by researchers at Rovira i Virgili University in Reus in Spain.  In their report published by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, they observed that males consuming almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts daily presented sperm of better quality compared to those who shared the same basic diet without including the nuts. 119 voluntary males aged between 18 and 35 years were followed over a period of 14 weeks. The biologists concluded that consuming nuts daily result in an improvement of 16% in sperm count, 6% in terms of mobility, 4% in vitality and 1% in morphology.

Albert Salas-Huetos who led the team explained that these four parameters are indicative of good male fertility. He, nonetheless, underlined that further studies should be carried out to establish solid facts.

Coffee is beneficial for the overall health of women

Today, the numerous health benefits that coffee has for women are known. First and foremost, the consumption of coffee helps in reducing the risk of endometrial cancer. A research team from Harvard Medical School in Boston studied 40,000 women and they established that women drinking about four cups of coffee daily have 22% lower risk of developing endometrial cancer- the most common type of gynecological cancers- compared to those who do not drink coffee.

This study is one of the many studies carried out to understand the impact of coffee on women’s health. In Japan, another team followed over 53,000 women for 15 years and noted that the consumption of coffee considerably reduced the risk of endometrial cancer. A similar study in Sweden where a team of researchers followed over 60,000 women for 17 years gave the same results. Apart from reducing the risk of endometrial cancer, coffee is also linked to a long list of health benefits, thanks to their high level of bioactive compounds having anticancer, antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, and therapeutic antioxidants. In both women and men, the consumption of coffee is associated with a lower risk of developing cancers such as leukemia, non-melanoma skin cancer, liver cancer, melanoma, and oral cancer. Coffee is also seen to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Studies have shown that coffee consumption has a positive impact with regards to coronary diseases and strokes, and that three cups of coffee can significantly protect against them. Daily consumption of coffee is also considered to keep away Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Another study conducted in the UK over ten years established that the consumption of two to five cups of coffee per day decreases the risk of mortality as well.