Men and (In)Fertility
Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. Infertility doesn’t just effect women—about one in every six couples, and researchers estimate about one in every three cases is due to fertility problems solely in the male partner. While infertility is not always treatable, it can sometimes be improved with a healthy diet, supplements and other lifestyle strategies.
What are the best male fertility supplements, nutrients and foods?
L-Carnitine and L-Arginine have both been shown to increase both sperm count and motility.
Intake of the mineral Zinc appears to be one of the essential cornerstones of male fertility, contributing to semen and testosterone production in men. Studies show that low zinc status or deficiency is associated with low testosterone levels, poor sperm quality and an increased risk of male infertility. Zinc is found in high amounts in animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs and shellfish. Oysters contain high levels of zinc.
Vitamin D is another nutrient that may boost your testosterone levels. Additionally, high vitamin D levels are linked to greater sperm motility. Taking 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day for one year.
EGCg (Green Tea Extract) is an emerging ingredient that protects sperm-producing cells from environmentally induced damage and promotes normal male homeostasis. It can also act as an anti-inflammatory, which can reduce immune cells from infiltrating the seminal fluid, and protects sperm function.
Get enough Folate. Studies indicate that a low intake of folate may impair semen quality. A half-cup (90-gram) serving of cooked asparagus contains about 134 mcg of folate, or 34% of the RDI. Or one-half of a raw avocado contains 82 mcg of folate, or about 21% of what you need for the entire day.
Antioxidant supplements also seem to work. Some evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 improves semen quality and may help boost the swimming power of sperm, while Vitamin C may improve sperm count and motility, while reducing the numbers of deformed sperm cells. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects sperm from oxidative damage and studies show it increases sperm health, sperm count and motility.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that has been used in India since ancient times. Studies suggest that ashwagandha may improve male fertility by boosting testosterone levels.
Maca Root is a highly nutritious plant that originated from central Peru. Traditionally, it has been used for its ability to enhance libido and fertility. It aids in male fertility by producing a higher sperm count and increased motility rates. It’s also beneficial for the reproductive organs by supporting hormonal balance. Studies also suggest that maca root may improve sexual performance.
“Fertility and libido usually go hand in hand.”
Keep in mind that fertility and libido usually go hand in hand with your general health. For this reason, anything that improves your overall health is likely to boost your fertility at the same time. Here are some additional tips to boost fertility and sperm count/quality:
Lead a healthy lifestyle: Unhealthy lifestyle practices impair your overall health, including fertility.
Loose excess weight: Obesity is associated with infertility. If you are infertile and obese, weight loss should be one of your top goals.
Exercise Regularly: Exercising not only improves your confidence and physical performance — it may also raise your testosterone levels. Studies show that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and better semen quality than men who are inactive. However, you should avoid too much exercise, as it may have the opposite effect and potentially reduce testosterone levels.
Limit your alcohol intake: Avoid heavy alcohol consumption, as it may reduce testosterone levels and impair semen quality.
Relax and minimize stress: Stress can reduce sexual satisfaction and fertility. Stress management and relaxation should be high on your agenda.
Get adequate sleep: Getting adequate sleep is vital to maintaining your health. Restricted or excessive sleep has also been linked to poor semen quality.
Snack on walnuts: Eating a lot of antioxidant-rich foods, such as walnuts, seems to benefit fertility.
Avoid eating too much soy: Soy is rich in isoflavones, which are associated with lower semen quality.