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Lose the Fat, Make a Baby

The good, the bad and the ugly things we learned about our bodies today

Have you been trying to knock up the missus recently but haven’t managed to put a bun in the oven? Does your love of Taco Bell mean you’re carrying around an extra pound or 50?

According to a study reported on by Men’s Health and published earlier this month in the International Journal of Andrology, your weight problem might be making your sperm less than super. Researchers at the Center for Assisted Reproduction in Visakhapatnam, India took sperm samples from 1,285 men. They found that when participants had a BMI of 30 or higher — i.e., clinically obese — they not only had lower volumes of sperm, their sperm wasn’t as mobile and even had defects that made them less effective at their chosen vocation.

The reason, researchers found, was because the extra weight was having an adverse effect on the participants’ hormone levels, particularly their levels of testosterone and estrogen — two hormones vital to male fertility. While it’s testosterone that’s critical for normal sperm development, it’s estrogen that boosts sperm count and effectiveness. When these hormones are out of whack, both quality and quantity suffers.

So the next time you tuck into those delicious Cheesy Gordita Crunches, think of the children — or lack thereof.

A few other things we learned about our bodies today:

Jeff Gross is MEL’s social media editor and a Pisces. He last wrote about how you’d have to be a total dummy to let your kid play tackle football before age 12.