How Your Drinking Habit Could Hurt Your Sperm

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Sip on this: Men in their 20s who binge-drink may be harming their sperm, finds new British research.

Researchers asked more than 1,000 guys between the ages of 18 and 28 about their drinking habits. Participants also provided blood and semen samples. The result: The more alcohol a guy consumed in a typical week, the worse he performed on tests of sperm health.

cdn-write.demandstudios.com-upload--9000-000-60-6-239066If you stick to a drink a day—one glass of wine, a regular-strength beer that’s 4-to-6 percent alcohol by volume, or roughly 1.5 ounces of liquor—the research indicates that your sperm won’t suffer. The most severe drop-off in sperm quality started at around 25 drinks per week, according to study coauthor Tina Kold Jensen, M.D., of the University of Southern Denmark.

For those who drank heavily—defined as roughly 40 drinks per week—sperm counts dropped by one-third, and the number of “normal-looking” sperm fell 51 percent.

Too much alcohol appears to throw off your body’s levels of certain sex hormones, which can play a role in healthy sperm production, Dr. Jensen says. Specifically, sex hormone-binding globulin, or SHBG, was lower among the heavier-drinking men.

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Source: Men’s Health

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