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Taurine deficiency in sperm linked to male infertility

A recent study published in the Federation of European Biochemical Societies has uncovered a key role in regulating the morphology and fertility of sperm cells.

Japanese scientists have discovered that sperm with taurine deficiency, an amino acid found in beef, lamb, eggs and most dairy products had reduced morphology and were more likely to become infertile. The taurine helps to prevent large changes in the shape of the sperm due to an influx or efflux of water into the cell and is pivotal for male fertility.

The research revealed that the shape and structure of the sperm relied on the presence of taurine had once the sperm were in the genital tract. Without sufficient taurine, sperm are more than twice as likely to develop tail defects, which stops them from being able to move towards the egg.

Interestingly, the scientists also discovered that when the sperm cells were supplied with extra taurine, the tail defect disappeared, and the sperm were able to swim normally.

Taurine rich foods consist of meat, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy products, so vegans and vegetarians are scientifically believed to be at higher risk of taurine deficiency.