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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Linda

The presence of meat in the diet, particularly processed meat, may increase one’s risk of prostate cancer, as may consumption of fried foods, dairy products, and eggs. A more plant-based diet may improve erectile dysfunction and even help reverse the progression of prostate cancer.

Lavender may help relieve anxiety, but may have estrogenic effects (as might nettle tea). Soy consumption, on the other hand, has not been found to affect male fertility. Sex steroid hormones found in meatdairy and eggs, and saturated fat intake, in general, may be one cause of the global drop in male sperm counts.

Xenoestrogens (human-made chemicals that can build up in the food chain), as well as radioactive compounds in seafood, may negatively influence male sperm counts.

Advice to eat oily fish or take fish oil to lower risk of heart diseasestroke or mortality may no longer be supported by the balance of available evidence. Endocrine-disrupting industrial toxins found in fish and seafood may affect the genital development of boys and sexual function of men.

Eating the spice fenugreek may improve muscle strength and weight-lifting power in addition to helping lower the risk of cancer. Eating foods rich in carotenoids and vitamin C may be associated with a reduction of lower urinary tract infections in men. Mushrooms are the best source of the antioxidant amino acid ergothioneine, found in seminal fluid.

Vegetarian men should be sure to eat zinc-rich foods every day such as whole grains, nuts and beans every day to meet their zinc requirements.


Image Credit: Ibrakovic / Thinkstock. This image has been modified.

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