The association between animal flesh foods consumption and semen parameters among infertile Iranian men: a cross-sectional study

Reza Ghiasvand, Laleh Dehghan Marvast, Seyyed Payam Shariatpanahi, Makan Pourmasoumi, Cain C T Clark, Farahnaz Haeri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    34 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: Previous studies have demonstrated the association between dietary patterns and semen quality indicators, but research on the possible association between animal flesh foods consumption and semen quality is limited. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the association between animal flesh foods consumption with semen quality. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 400 newly-identified (< 6 months) infertile men, as diagnosed by an andrologist, were recruited into the study. Dietary intake was assessed by using a semiquantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire. The total meat consumption was defined as the sum of red meat, poultry, fresh fish, canned fish, processed meats, and organ meats in the diet. A linear mixed model was used to assess the relationship between meat consumption and semen quality indicators of participants. Results: Consumption of canned fish was inversely related to sperm immotility. Compared with the men in the lowest quartile of canned fish intake, those in the highest quartile had a lower sperm immotility [lowest quartile: 52.5%; (95% CI: 47-57) vs 47.4%; (95% CI: 43-51) P-trend = 0.026]. Similarly, a trend toward an inverse significant association between fresh fish intake and sperm immotility was observed (P-trend = 0.074). In contrast, fresh and canned fish intake was unrelated to other outcomes of sperm quality (P-trend > 0.05). No association was found between consumption of processed red meat, red meat, poultry, and organ meat, and semen quality indicators (P-trend > 0.05). Conclusions: We found that consumption of canned fish is associated with a lower percentage of immotile sperm, whilst a high consumption of fresh fish increased the percentage of immotile sperm in Iranian infertile men. Further studies are recommended in this regard.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number113
    Number of pages7
    JournalNutrition Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.


    • Diet
    • Male infertility
    • Meat intake
    • Semen analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


    Dive into the research topics of 'The association between animal flesh foods consumption and semen parameters among infertile Iranian men: a cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this