Does Omega 3 Increase Sperm Count?

ben bunting BA(Hons) PgCert Sport & Exercise Nutriton  Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.


Sperm count is the number of sperms per ml of the semen sample. Usually, this value is lower than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

Sperm count is used as one of the perimeters to define the fertility and reproductive health of a man.

In this article we shall cover the following points:

  • Sperm count
  • What is omega 3?
  • Omega 3 sources
  • Role of omega 3 in reproductive health
  • Conclusion

Sperm count

Low sperm count means that the number of sperm in a certain semen sample of that man is not nearly enough to impregnate their female partner, in some cases a man may have zero sperm.

There can be many causes of low sperm count, some of which might be:

What is omega 3?

does omega 3 increase sperm count?

The Association of UK Dieticians state that Omega 3 fatty acids are a family of essential fats that are indispensable for your body's well-being. [1]

These are the building blocks of every cell membrane in your body, as well as the source of energy that keeps your lungs, heart, and other systems running efficiently.

Your body cannot produce these fatty acids; hence they need to be taken in form of either certain foods or supplements. The three most important types of omega 3 fatty acids are:

  1. ALA alpha linoleic acid
  2. DHA docadahexaenoic acid
  3. EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.

Sources rich in omega 3:

Always try to get omega 3 from food rather than supplements. Common food sources rich in omega 3 fatty acids are:

  • Fish oil
  • Fatty fish
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Anchovies
  • Leafy greens

In essence, if you can include fish, leafy green vegetables and seeds or nuts in your diet on a regular basis you should have your needs covered.

White fish such as cod, haddock and shellfish do contains Omega 3 but not equal to the high levels found in oily fish.

Oily fish are also great providers of vitamin D, vitamin A, and minerals such as selenium, zinc notwithstanding protein. 

How much Omega 3 is safe?

It is deemed safe by the Heart UK charity to eat 4 portions of oily fish per week, and really the limitations appear due to the presence of chemicals and metals (likely from processing and pollution) rather than any ill effects from omega 3 itself. [2]

➡️READ: Natural treatments for male infertility

Further research shows that the National Institutes of Health recommends 1.1-1.6g daily as an adequate intake. [3]

Role of omega 3 in reproductive health

Sperms contain a significant amount of omega 3 fatty acids. There is one constituent of omega 3 fatty acids that are of particular importance to sperm health and motility, which is DHA.

It is found in sperm membranes in abundance which highlights its importance in maintaining and improving sperm health. [4]

They not only influence the morphology of the sperm, which again is another very important factor, fatty acids also aid in binding the building blocks of acrosome together, present at the tip of sperms. This is also very important as the acrosome aids sperm to enter the ovum by breaking its wall. [5]

This fatty acid also gives sperm its fluidity so it can move towards the egg. It has also been observed to mature the sperms enough so that they can participate in the process of fertilization.

Low omega 3, low sperm

Studies conducted on several infertile men concluded the effects of the absence of DHA in those men.

Hence, the absence of omega 3 can lead to low sperm count, low sperm quality, and in worse cases infertility.

It also points out the improvement in sperm health, motility, and count when omega 3 fatty acid supplements were given to these men, increasing their chances of getting better and improved sexual health. [6]

Another study carried out in men experiencing low sperm count pointed out the presence of omega 6 in high amounts while the levels of omega 3 were very low. [7]

This ratio of omega 6 to omega three is very crucial for the sperm wall integrity. Hence, eating a diet rich in omega 3 stables this ratio which lessens the oxidative stress produced on the sperm causing DNA defragmentation. [8]

This way the number of sperms and their quality is preserved and men can overcome their infertility issues.

A very comprehensive study carried out in Denmark concluded that men who were known to take food containing omega 3 regularly showed an increase in the sperm count of their semen sample as compared to men who did not take omega 3 in any form. [9]

Furthermore an increase in the production of testosterone was also observed among these men.


The good news for anyone struggling with a fertility problem is that it is not unfixable.

Many researchers have successfully concluded that the incorporation of omega 3 fatty acids in your diet can help you overcome these issues.

Opting a healthy lifestyle including a diet rich in omega 3 can help you boost your overall wellness as well as fertility issues you might be having. [10]

Consistent and measured doses of omega 3 fatty acid have shown great results in regards to improvement in increased sperm count and increase in testicle size. The key is regular use along with diet and lifestyle changes. 

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  1. BDA (2017). Omega-3. [online] Available at:

  2. (n.d.). Omega 3 fats. [online] Available at:

  3. National Institute of Health (2017). Office of Dietary Supplements - Omega-3 Fatty Acids. [online] Available at:

  4. (n.d.). Validate User. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Mar. 2022].

  5. Sanocka, D. and Kurpisz, M. (2004). Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 2(1), p.12.

  6. Endocrinology Network. (n.d.). Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Improve Semen Quality. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Mar. 2022].

  7. Safarinejad, M.R., Hosseini, S.Y., Dadkhah, F. and Asgari, M.A. (2010). Relationship of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with semen characteristics, and anti-oxidant status of seminal plasma: A comparison between fertile and infertile men. Clinical Nutrition, 29(1), pp.100–105. Available at:

  8. Reza Safarinejad, M. and Safarinejad, S. (2012). The roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in idiopathic male infertility. Asian Journal of Andrology, 14(4), pp.514–515. Available at:

  9. Jensen, T.K., Priskorn, L., Holmboe, S.A., Nassan, F.L., Andersson, A.-M., Dalgård, C., Petersen, J.H., Chavarro, J.E. and Jørgensen, N. (2020). Associations of Fish Oil Supplement Use With Testicular Function in Young Men. JAMA Network Open, [online] 3(1), pp.e1919462–e1919462. Available at: [Accessed 2 Mar. 2022].

  10. Weylandt, K.H., Serini, S., Chen, Y.Q., Su, H.-M., Lim, K., Cittadini, A. and Calviello, G. (2015). Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: The Way Forward in Times of Mixed Evidence. BioMed Research International, [online] 2015. Available at: