Soft drinks can cause infertility

There is no denying the fact that diet has a major impact on our health. Excessive consumption of soda and other aerated drinks can hamper fertility in both men and women.

Aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in soft drinks, can disrupt the functioning of endocrine glands causing hormonal imbalance in women. Phenylalanine and aspartic acid, the two amino acids present in aspartame, are considered natural and harmless when eaten in combination with other amino acids. But when taken unaccompanied, they stimulate the generation of free radicals which leads to cell death. Sperm and ovum being cells have 90% chances of dying when this is consumed in excess.

Men who consume soft drinks more often are at four times the risk of lowering their sperm count, motility and concentration. Soda is an acidic beverage, which alters the pH level of the body with excess consumption. Moreover, bisphenol-A, a chemical that reduces the male semen quality, is found in the lining of plastic bottles and canned goods.

Most of the soft drinks are caffeinated and contain fructose. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor that reduces the uterine blood flow thereby reducing menstrual bleeding and shortening the duration of menses.

(The author is a gynaecologist & IVF expert, Indira IVF Hospital)

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