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Fact or fiction? Do tomatoes improve male fertility?

We all love tucking into a cheeky slice of pizza, guzzling up bolognese pasta or simply slurping down a bowl of warm tomato soup; but what if we told you all three of these meals held the secret to boosting your fertility?

A new study by Sheffield University claims that the compound Lycopene, which is predominantly found in tomatoes, improves the quality of sperm. Lycopene is an antioxidant meaning it prevents oxidation and therefore damage to cells. During the 12 week study individuals were given 14 miligram doses of lactolycopene (supplement containing high concentrations of lycopene). It was found that those given lactolycopene had better sperm counts, motility and morphology than those who took the placebo pill.

This study is still in the early days and needs to be rolled out to more males including those who have faced fertility problems in order for more concrete conclusions to be made. Moreover, there is debate over how much tomato puree needs to be consumed in order for increased fertility to occur. In the study individuals were given doses of lactolycopene which in real terms would require the consumption of 2kg of tomatoes per day to get the same level of lycopene.

So, technically fact but in reality consuming the required 2kg of tomatoes per day is probably not recommended for general nutritional balance!


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