Eating more fish is linked to increased sex and pregnancy, study finds

Couples who had fish more than 8 times a menstrual cycle had a 47% shorter time getting pregnant than those who didn't, and had 22% more sex than those that didn't.

Eating more fish is linked to increased sex and pregnancy, study finds

Fish. They swim around without emotion and, let's be honest, don't pay taxes. But according to a highly cited study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, they might be good for something after all: helping us humans procreate. 


I'll give you a second to take that in. 

According to the study, 501 couples were surveyed for from 2005 to 2009 and asked an array of questions about both their contraceptive methods and their fish intake. It doesn't particularly matter what kinds of fish: canned tuna counted, as did shrimp and shellfish. The study started with over 1,000 couples but was apparently whittled down—if you will—by birth control methods. Go ahead and read the full study here for yourself if you'd like. 

But you're probably reading this to find out about the numbers... how much extra copulation will you get by upping your fish consumption? It all boils down to this very exciting paragraph below. Keep in mind that 'cycle' refers to the menstrual cycle, that TTP means 'time to pregnancy', and SIF means 'sexual intercourse frequency': 

Couples with male and female partners who consumed eight or more seafood servings per cycle had 47% (95% CI, 7% to 103%) and 60% (95% CI, 15% to 122%) greater fecundity (shorter TTP) than couples with male and female partners who consumed one or fewer seafood servings per cycle. Couples with both partners consuming eight or more seafood servings per cycle had 61% (95% CI, 17% to 122%) greater fecundity than couples consuming less. Male and female partners with the highest seafood intake (eight or more servings per cycle) also had 22% greater SIF.

Let's break that down: couples who had fish more than 8 times a menstrual cycle (roughly one month) had a 47% shorter time getting pregnant than those who didn't, and those who consumed fish 8 or more times during a cycle had 22% more sex than those that didn't. 

One thing about the study is unclear: why eating fish seems to increase sex (and pregnancy). Perhaps it's because fish is a relatively "clean" protein, i.e. far more lean than beef and a lot less likely to contain man-made contaminates than chicken. Given that 99.5% of chicken available in stores and restaurants is factory farmed, there's a good chance that it's been given antibiotics and whatever else big-league farmers need to make as much money as possible. Touching upon the cleanliness of fish, the study touches upon the fact that fish contain toxins but states that those toxins are in trace amounts unless you consume a lot of fish, therefore the good far outweighs the bad. 

Of course, as any Big Think reader knows, correlation does not equal causation. But the findings from this 4-year study are clear: it's time to start researching your sushi. 

A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

Credit: Benjavisa Ruangvaree / AdobeStock
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
Keep reading Show less

Mathematical model shows how the Nazis could have won WWII's Battle of Britain

With just a few strategical tweaks, the Nazis could have won one of World War II's most decisive battles.

Photo: Heinrich Hoffmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The Battle of Britain is widely recognized as one of the most significant battles that occurred during World War II. It marked the first major victory of the Allied forces and shifted the tide of the war.
  • Historians, however, have long debated the deciding factor in the British victory and German defeat.
  • A new mathematical model took into account numerous alternative tactics that the German's could have made and found that just two tweaks stood between them and victory over Britain.
Keep reading Show less

New data reveals Earth closer to a black hole and 16,000 mph faster

A new study shows our planet is much closer to the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center than previously estimated.

Position and velocity map of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Credit: NAOJ
Surprising Science
  • A Japanese radio astronomy project revealed Earth is 2,000 light years closer to the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way's center.
  • The data also showed the planet is moving 7 km/s or 16,000 mph faster in orbit around the Galactic Center.
  • The findings don't mean Earth is in more danger from the black hole but reflect better modeling of the galaxy.
  • Keep reading Show less

    How has technology changed — and changed us — in the past 20 years?

    Apple sold its first iPod in 2001, and six years later it introduced the iPhone, which ushered in a new era of personal technology.

    PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images
    Technology & Innovation
    Just over 20 years ago, the dotcom bubble burst, causing the stocks of many tech firms to tumble.
    Keep reading Show less
    Surprising Science

    The magic of mushrooms: A mycological trip

    A biologist-reporter investigates his fungal namesake.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast