Last updated: April 30th, 2021 at 03:25 pm
Low Sperm Motility: How to Increase Male Fertility with Male Fertility Supplements
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” –Hippocrates
The process of creating and maturing sperm takes approximately 100 days and men are constantly engaged in an on-going process of producing new sperm.
Women are born with their eggs, but men produce sperm from “scratch”. This is the good news for men: Since men are producing new sperm all the time, it is the ingredients (nutrients) going in that contributes to the quality of the product (sperm) going out.
If you are experiencing male infertility problems such as low sperm motility and low sperm count then getting the right nutrients is vital.
Lifestyle and male fertility
Lifestyle factors affecting male fertility include diet/nutrition, body weight, exercise, stress, smoking and drug taking.
“There is a growing body of solid scientific data that correlates obesity, poor nutritional status, lack of exercise, smoking and marijuana usage … with decreased semen parameters such as sperm concentration, motility and morphology,” said Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, director of the Center of Male Reproductive Health at RMA of New York and a board-certiﬁed urologist and male infertility specialist, in a recent CNN article about male fertility
. He added, “Men need to appreciate that their lifestyle behaviors may not only affect their ability to initiate a healthy pregnancy but, just as importantly, affect the future well-being of their child — something that has clear lifelong repercussions and that should be seriously considered prior to initialing fatherhood.”
The CNN article mentions that nutrients target many of the parameters that affect male fertility such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids as we have listed below in our list of recommended nutrients to boost male fertility. Men should start to implement lifestyle changes at least three months before conception, which is the approximate length of time of the sperm life cycle.
The quick & simple way to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of the nutrients that boost male fertility
Get them in a tablet form. Taking a Male Fertility Supplement that contains these nutrients is a reliable way of increasing your intake. Since it takes about 100 days for new sperm to be produced you will want to give it at least that amount of time to get the following nutrients in to your system.
Both eating foods rich in the following nutrients and taking a male fertility supplement together is ideal for ensuring adequate levels of these nutrients and so we have included a list of food sources as well:
- Zinc. This is the most critical trace element mineral for male sexual function. It is needed for testosterone metabolism, testicle growth, sperm production, sperm motility, sperm count, reducing excess oestrogen in male reproductive tissue. Deficiencies of zinc are quite common. Zinc is important for cell division and the production of healthy sperm. Every time a man ejaculates he loses about 5mg of zinc. Alcohol depletes zinc. Vitamin B6 and C may aid in the absorption of zinc. The following may inhibit the absorption of zinc: folic acid, tea, coffee, high fibre intake and iron. Food sources: Lean meat, fish, seafood, chicken, eggs, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, rye, oats, whole grains, pulses, ginger root, parsley, mushrooms, brewer’s yeast and wheat germ.
- Vitamin B12. B12 and Folic Acid are needed for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. These make up the blueprint for the genetic code of the entire body. Low levels can cause abnormal sperm production, low sperm count and low sperm motility. Food sources: The only reliable sources of B12 are animal products, in particular lamb, sardines and salmon.
- Folate (Folic Acid). This is needed for sperm production and to raise low sperm count, low sperm motility and low morphological abnormalities. Vitamin C aids the absorption of folate. Food sources: Dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, root vegetables, whole grains, oysters, salmon, milk, pulses, asparagus, oatmeal, dried figs and avocados.
- Vitamin C. This is needed for the production of healthy sperm. It can increase low sperm motility and low sperm count. It has also been shown to reduce the sperm clumping. Low vitamin C levels have been linked with an increase in birth defects. Food sources: Citrus fruits, cherries, cantaloupe melon, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet peppers, black currants, mangoes, grapes, kiwi, pineapples, asparagus, peas, potatoes, parsley, watercress, spinach & alfalfa sprouts.
- Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This is important for energy production because Co-Q10 assists with the mitochondrial functions of your body’s cells-this means it provides power to all your body’s functions. It is found in every cell in the human body. CoQ10 is present in large amounts in seminal fluid. It gives sperm energy (along with fructose) and increases low sperm motility. It also improves blood flow and fertilisation rates may rise when taking this supplement. Food sources: It is extremely difficult to obtain sufficient amounts of Co-Q10 from food sources. Supplementation is a reliable way of increasing your intake.
- Manganese. A deficiency may cause testicular degeneration, congenital malformations, sterility, low sex drive, low sperm count, an increase in the number of cells that degenerate in the epididymis and inhibition of the synthesis of sex hormones. Note: Manganese competes with iron for absorption, it is advisable to take it with vitamin C and protein foods. Food sources: Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, carrots, broccoli, ginger, pulses, nuts, pineapples, eggs, oats & rye.
- Anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help protect your body from free radical damage to the cells in your entire body. Around 40% of sperm damage is thought to be caused by these free-oxidising radicals. Anti-oxidants can help combat these negative effects. Food sources: Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, garlic, broccoli, red peppers, kale, brussel sprouts and alfalfa sprouts.
- Amino acids- L-arginine. These are the building blocks of life and are necessary for sperm production. (note: Some healthcare practitioners will prescribe amino acids such as l-arginine to enhance fertility-do not take this is if you have the herpes virus as it can cause outbreaks). Food sources: Meats, fish, eggs and dairy produce, lentils, peas, beans, nuts, brown rice, quinoa, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Vitamin A. This is essential for the production of male sex hormones. It is also important for the upkeep of the seminiferous tubules. A deficiency in Vitamin A has been shown to reduce sperm volume and sperm count and increase abnormal sperm. Food sources: Eggs, yellow fruits & vegetables, whole milk & milk products, dark green leafy vegetables and oily fish.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). This is essential for the formation of male sex hormones. A deficiency of B6 has been shown to cause infertility in animals. B6 must be taken together with zinc because zinc is needed for the absorption of B6. Food sources: Whole grains, nuts, brown rice, organ and other meats, egg yolks, fish, poultry, pulses, seeds, green leafy vegetables, molasses and brewer’s yeast.
- Vitamin C. This is needed for the production of healthy sperm. It can increase low sperm motility and sperm count. It has also been shown to reduce the sperm clumping. Low vitamin C levels have been linked with an increase in birth defects. Food sources: Citrus fruits, cherries, cantaloupe melon, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet peppers, black currants, mangoes, grapes, kiwi, pineapples, asparagus, peas, potatoes, parsley, watercress, spinach & alfalfa sprouts.
- Vitamin E- d-alpha-tocopherol. There are high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in sperm cell membranes and vitamin E helps to protect them from free radical damage. Vitamin E may also help the sperm penetrate the egg. A deficiency of vitamin E leads to permanent degeneration of testicular tissues. Vitamin E also has anticoagulant properties. Note: supplement of the natural (d-alpha-tocopherol) as opposed to the synthetic (dl-alpha-tocopherol) is more easily utilised and retained in the body for longer. Food sources: Cold pressed oils, wheat germ, organ meats, eggs, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, avocados and molasses.
- Selenium. This is needed to properly shape sperm and to maintain sperm count. Deficiency may cause male infertility. There are cells with a high lipid (fat) content in semen and selenium helps to protect them from free radical damage. It may also have a key role in the proper functioning of the epididymis (which is related to sperm maturation and sperm motility). Food sources: Tuna, herring, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, bran, whole grains and sesame seeds.
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s: Omega 3 DHA and 6). The EFA’s DHA act as hormone regulators and are very important when trying to conceive. Sperm contain high concentrations of Omega 3 EFA’s particularly DHA. Most DHA is in the sperm tail and is thought to play a role in sperm motility. Omega 3 DHA and Omega 6 are important structural elements of cell membranes, body tissue and brain development in a foetus. Food sources: Mackerel, herring, salmon or sardines.
*It is worth noting that smoking is a major contributor to low sperm motility.
**Advice from your doctor and a qualified nutritionist should be sought before taking any supplements to rule out contraindications based on medical history or other factors.
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