Roughly one in five couples will have difficulty conceiving. Approximately 40% of the time, the issue is due exclusively to female infertility; 40% of the time due to male infertility; the remaining 20% of the time, there may be issues with both partners that contribute to the infertility.
If you believe that you or your partner has a fertility issue that may be the cause of non-conception, fear not; we may have an answer! There is a body of scientific evidence to suggest that certain nutritional supplements may help improve male fertility.
Antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin E
Vitamins C and E are essential antioxidants that protect the body’s cells from damage from oxidative stress and free radicals. Vitamin C is one of the most abundant antioxidants in the semen of fertile men, and it contributes to the maintenance of healthy sperm by protecting the sperm’s DNA from free radical damage.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps protect the sperm’s cell membrane from damage. Studies have shows that vitamin E improves sperm motility (movement). Men with low fertilisation rates who took vitamin E supplements for three months showed a significant improvement in fertilisation rate. Vitamin E supplementation in infertility men resulted in increased pregnancy rates.
Vitamin C functions to regenerate vitamin E; thus, these vitamins may work together to improve sperm function. Vitamin C has been shown to increase sperm count, motility, and morphology.
Vitamin D has several important roles in the body, including regulating the immune system, improving muscular function, and potentially offering protection from a variety of health conditions. Vitamin D is important for male reproduction and androgen (testosterone) status. In a recent study, men with normal vitamin D levels had better sperm motility than men who were vitamin D deficient.
Selenium is a trace mineral that functions as an antioxidant. Selenium supplements have been shown to increase sperm motility, ad a combination of selenium and vitamin E has been shown to decrease damage from free radicals and improve sperm motility in infertile men.
Lycopene is a potent antioxidant and carotenoid (plant pigment) that is abundant in tomatoes. This phytonutrient is found in high levels in the testes, and research has shown that lycopene supplementation improved sperm parameters in infertile men.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid derivative produced by the body that functions to transport fat so it can be broken down for energy. L-carnitine is thought to also have antioxidant properties. L-carnitine’s primary benefit is to provide energy for sperm, and therby increase sperm motility.
Zinc is an essential trade mineral that plays a role in sperm formation, testosterone metabolism, and cell motility. Zinc supplementation has been shown to increase testosterone levels, sperm count, and sperm motility.
Folic Acid is a B-vitamin that is necessary for DNA synthesis. Low levels of folic acid have been associated with a decreased sperm count and decreased sperm motility. In a recent study, the combination of zinc and folic acid results in a 75% increase in total normal sperm count in sub-fertile men.
Struggling with infertility?
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