The traditional breakfast meat that pairs well with eggs and hash browns has become a pop culture staple. Forget the bacon cheeseburger.
Innovators working with the pork product have seized on bacon mania developing bacon ice cream, bacon lollipops, even bacon-flavored vodka. Those that can’t get enough of the sizzling meat flavor can get more of the satisfying taste with bacon lip balm and bacon toothpaste. For the feline lover that wants to mask those undesirable cat odors, there is even organic bacon-scented cat litter!
But new research suggests that consumption of slices of pork belly, aka bacon, can lower sperm count. According to an Oct. 15, Medical Daily report, the study led by Dr. Myriam Afeiche from the Harvard School of Public Health examined the diets of 156 men who were enrolled in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) programs and found that men who ate a half portion or more of processed meat had almost 2 percent fewer “normal sperm” than those that ate less than a half portion.
The research presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Boston raised questions among some including Dr. Allan Pacey, chairman of the British Fertility Society, who voiced reservations due to the small sample size. Pacey acknowledged that research supports better health results from reduced consumption of processed meat, but he also questioned linking specific foods to lowered sperm counts.
Reducing red meat in the diet has been associated with better health. The Havard Gazette reported on a study conducted last year that found “replacing one serving of total red meat with one serving of a healthy protein source was associated with a lower mortality risk: 7 percent for fish, 14 percent for poultry, 19 percent for nuts, 10 percent for legumes, 10 percent for low-fat dairy products, and 14 percent for whole grains.”
The bottom line is, if you are looking to become a father (through traditional means) your chances may be better if you lay off the bacon. If you cannot give up the succulent “other white meat,” perhaps you need to attend a local bacon-aholics anonymous meeting. Yes, there are other bacon addicts just like you!