June 23, 2013

Sperm as a Natural Superfood

The following post was written by Jennifer Vegas on Discovery.  The subject matter is more interesting to me for more than the obvious. I was recently told by someone who expressed  a desire for dating me that sperm was dirty. I almost fell from where ever I was hanging from and a sense of sadness came upon me. How can this man say that? Not someone who has recently admitted to his sexual orientation and not someone without an education. But the gay community knows well that education does not equal smart or even educated. Some sit on a chair or couch and listen and then after many hours and months they are given a piece of paper that says BS.
 Well now that I made it clear why I’m on this dear subject of mine again when Obama and Putin are fighting over Snowdens’ bud you might be interested in reading the Protein part of this post. 
Recently I wrote a post about a New Yorker falling on sperm and suing the gay friendly spa for allowing sperm to be there (Just backtrack a couple stories and you’ll find the sperm post) One of my (so far) most popular posts I’ve written this year. For that reason and others sperm is very much on my mind lately. 
I started a little digging on sperm and I found the following post and knowing that 'it is so' because I learnt about this long time ago. But even as a High School Senior I knew a lot about sperm. As a matter of fact I thought that all gay men where acquainted with the nutritional values of sperm. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that most protein is good for you. I would imagine that someone might be allergic to someone else’s earth juice but not as a rule, is just like soy milk.                 {Adam}

[keep in mind this article below was written by a female, it should be obvious as you read on but still scientifically sound]
Certain females consume male ejaculate and sperm as if they were food, using the nutrients to fuel their own bodies as well as their eggs, according to new research.
Yeah, it's gross, but our bodily fluids actually have a lot of nutrients in them!
The study, published in the journal Biology Letters, adds yet another dimension to the battle between the sexes. 
“If males have their sperm consumed, rather than used for egg fertilization, they will lose that reproductive opportunity. Therefore, it is in the male’s best interests to try to ensure at least some of his sperm reaches the female’s eggs,” lead author Benjamin Wegener, a researcher at Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences, explained to Discovery News.
Wegener said that ejaculate consumption is well documented among numerous species. Humans are included in that group, but the behavior is not a standard part of our reproductive process.
According to Columbia Health, human male ejaculate contains fructose sugar, water, ascorbic acid (aka Vitamin C), citric acid, enzymes, protein, zinc and more.  It reads like the ingredients list of a protein-infused sports drink.
Sperm consumption -- as opposed to just ejaculate swallowing -- in the animal kingdom “is far less common,” according to Wegener. Species that exhibit this include carrion flies, picture wing flies, a strange marine invertebrate known as Spadella cephaloptera, a type of leech, a marine nudibranch and the southern bottletail squid Sepiadarium austrinum.
Humans, again, may swallow sperm, but it’s not standard behavior during reproduction.
It appears to happen a lot among squid, the focus of the new study. Wegener and his team discovered the behavior and tracked how the nutrients were utilized after consumption. It is the first time that the phenomenon has been observed in a female with external fertilization.
This is an important distinction, as even if the female consumes some of the ejaculate in those internal fertilizers, at least some of the sperm remains inside in the reproductive tract,” he said. “For an external fertilizer with short-term sperm storage, if the female doesn’t lay eggs in time, the male loses his chance to fertilize the eggs.”
Yeah, it's gross, but our bodily fluids actually have a lot of nutrients in them!
To help combat this problem, squid sperm and the sperm of many other animals may contain manipulative compounds that stimulate female reproduction. So far, over 80 proteins have been identified in other types of sperm that could do the following: decrease female receptivity to further matings, encourage her to lay eggs sooner, stimulate ovulation and egg production, affect how long females store sperm and affect egg fertility. 
Females, on the other hand, can control whether or not they will consume the sperm or ejaculate.
This raises numerous questions, such as whether females sometimes use males as a food source, if females sample sperm to determine its quality and if they eat it to allow other sperm to fertilize eggs.
Tom Tregenza, a professor of evolutionary ecology at the University of Exeter and director of research for CLES Cornwall, told Discovery News that it’s been known for some time that insects get nutritional benefits from eating male sperm packets (squid, certain insects and other species encase sperm in a membrane sealed spring-loaded package), “but this finding of exactly the same sort of thing having evolved completely independently in such a distantly related group is really fascinating.”
He agrees that the behavior can put pressure on males, which have to balance providing enough sperm for fertilization, but perhaps not so much that females start to rely upon it as a regular “tempting meal.”
“As the authors point out,” Tregenza added, “she might even choose to eat the sperm packets from less attractive males and use the sperm from more attractive ones for fertilizing her eggs.”

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