Studies confirm environmental factors, such as pesticides, exogenous estrogens, and heavy metals may negatively impact the formation of healthy sperm. A number of supplements have been shown to improve sperm counts and sperm motility, including l-carnitine, l-arginine, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B-12. Numerous antioxidants have also proven beneficial in treating male infertility, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and coenzyme Q10. Acupuncture has also been documented as having a positive effect on sperm parameters.
A multi-faceted therapeutic approach to improving male fertility involves identifying harmful environmental and occupational risk factors, while correcting underlying nutritional imbalances to encourage optimal sperm production and function.
In addition to eating an overall protein-rich diet balanced with greens and grains, some sperm-specific foods you can incorporate into your diet are:
- Broccoli, cabbage and nuts are high in folate, which is vital to DNA strength
- Guavas, Watermelon and Tomatoes are high in lycopene
- Oysters are high in Zinc
- Dark chocolate contains L-Arginine
- Asparagus is high in Vitamin C
- Pumpkin Seeds contain phytosterols, which can help shrink an enlarged prostate and improve testosterone production
- Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids
The membranes surrounded sperm are rich in poly unsaturated fatty acids and are sensitive to oxygen induced damage. So, free radicals and reactive oxygen species [ROS] are associated with oxidative stress and are likely to play a number of significant and diverse roles in reproduction. To counterbalance oxidative stress here's an outline of a potential supplement regime (check with your physician and acupuncturist to make sure this is right for you):
- Coenzyme Q10 - 200 mg (may go to higher doses with supervision)
- Vitamin C - 90 mg
- Folate - 400 mcg
- Zinc - 11 mg
Altern Med Rev. 2000 Feb;5(1):28-38. Male infertility: nutritional and environmental considerations. Sinclair S.
Curr Drug Metab. 2005 Oct;6(5):495-501. Mechanisms of male infertility: role of antioxidants. Sheweita SA1, Tilmisany AM, Al-Sawaf H.
Fertility and Sterility Volume 100, Issue 6, Pages 1572-1579, December 2013 Semen quality in relation to antioxidant intake in a healthy male population. Piotr Zareba, M.D., M.P.H., Daniela S. Colaci, M.D., M.Sc., Myriam Afeiche, Ph.D., M.P.H., Audrey J. Gaskins, B.S.E., Niels Jørgensen, M.D., Ph.D., Jaime Mendiola, Ph.D., M.P.H., Shanna H. Swan, Ph.D., Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D.email