The breakdown product of alcohol in the body is acetaldehyde, which is toxic to sperm.Stop Smoking Tobacco
Smoking increases the number of free radicals in the body which do damage to many cells. It reduces sperm count and motility, and increases the number of abnormally shaped sperm.
Free radicals causer sperm damage.
Aside from the many prescription drugs that effect fertility, the chemical ingredient in Marijuana is very closely related to testosterone, therefore the body will produce less of the male hormone. It builds up in the testes lowering libido, causing impotence, and sometimes sexual anxiety. The effects of cocaine are similar in some aspects.Medical Problems
Hernia surgery, tubule infection, chlamydia, or mumps may effect sperm count. varicocelle, Diabetes can also have detrimental effects on male fertility.Exercise
excessive amounts that punish the body should be avoided.Toxins and Pollutants
Pesticides and heavy metals are terrible for sperm. Also watch exposure to X-rays, solvents, paint products, and toxic metals.
The meat we eat is filled with hormones, unless it is organic. Estrogens are now found in our drinking water. Plastics also give off estrogens. Do not microwave plastic, and try to drink from glass containers. If you are drinking water from a plastic bottle, try to limit its exposure to the sun.
Studies have shown L-arginine improves sperm count and motility without side effects. It is also used for erectile dysfunction due to its positive effect on blood circulation.
Dosage: 4 grams/day
Do not take arginine if you have the herpes virus, it will cause an outbreak.
Sources: protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, lentils, peas, beans, nuts, brown rice, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and quinoa.
An essential amino acid found in high concentrations in sperm and seminal fluid. Carnitine transports fatty acids into the mitochondria (the power house of the cell). L-carnitine is associated with significant increases in concentrations of sperm, increased motility and count and the percentage of motile sperm.
Dosage: 3 grams/dayVitamin A
Essential for the production of male sex hormones. It has antioxidant qualities which protects cells against damage from free radicals in the body. It also is important for the upkeep of the seminiferous tubules.
A deficiency is shown to reduce sperm volume and count, and increase abnormal sperm.
Sources: eggs, yellow fruits and vegetables, whole milk and milk products, dark green leafy veggies, and fish oils.
Take with foods that contain fat or oil, as well as with vitamin C, E, and zinc.
The B-complex vitamins B6, B12 and B9-folic acid are critical nutrients in the male reproductive system for proper hormone metabolism, sperm formation and motility.
High concentrations of free radicals can directly damage sperm cells and contribute to erectile dysfunction. It is recommended to take the following antioxidants:
Vitamin E – 600mg/day
Glutathione/selenium – 200mcg/day
Co-Q10 – 60mg/day
Pycnogenol – 40 mg.
(One study shows pycnogenol combined with L-arginine improved erectile dysfunction in 92.5% of the patients for 40 men age 40-45.)
An antioxidant that prevents damage from free radicals. It is needed for the healthy production of sperm. Low vitamin C levels have been linked with an increse in birth defects. It can increase count and motility of sperm. It is also shown to reduce clumping of sperm.
Sources: citrus fruits, rosehips, cherries, sprouted alfalfa seeds, cantaloupe, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet peppers, black currants, mangos, grapes, kiwi fruit, pineapples, asparagus, peas, potatoes, parsely, watercress, and spinach.
Rats fed a diet free of vitamin e cannot reproduce. It also is an antioxidant. It may also help the sperm penetrate the egg. Deficiency leads to a degeneration of testicular tissues. Vitamin E has anticoagulant properties, so caution if taking blood thinners.
Sources: cold pressed oils, wheat germ, organ meats, molasses, eggs, sweet potatoes, leafy veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and avacados.
Dosage: >4 mg
Deficiency may cause infertility. It is needed to properly shape sperm and to maintain count. It may have a key role in the functioning of the epididymis. It is an antioxidant which protects the cells in the sperm that have a high fat content.
Sources: tuna, herring, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ and bran, whole grains, and sesame seeds.
Dosage: RNI 75 mcg per day
Manganese competes with iron for absorption. It is advisable to take manganese supplements with protein foods and vitamin C. Deficiency may cause testicular degeneration, congenital malformations, sterility, low sex drive, low sperm count, and an increase in the number of cells that degenerate in the epididymis. Deficiency may also inhibit the synthesis of sex hormones.
Sources: whole grains, green leafy veggies, carrots, broccoli, ginger, legumes, nuts, pineapples, eggs, oats, and rye.
Zinc and Folic Acid
Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential for sperm production. Folic acid is a B-vitamin also important as a co-factor in DNA synthesis. A study showed that these nutrients improved sperm counts by 74% for both fertile and subfertile men.
Dosage: 66mg zinc sulfate, 5mg folic acid
Important for energy production. ICSI fertilization rates may rise when taking this supplement. It also improves blood flow. It is present in large amounts in the seminal fluid. It protects them against free radical damage, gives sperm energy (along with fructose), and increases their motility.
Essential Fatty Acids
Very important to take when trying to concieve. EFA’s act as hormone regulators. Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 arachidonic acid are important structural elements of cell membranes, body tissue, and brain development in the fetus. Sperm contain high concentrations of omega-3’s, in particular DHA (found in oily fish). DHA is in the sperm tail (motility).
Sources: Omega-3; flaxseed, oily fish (mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines), walnuts, green leafy veggies, and tuna (not more than 150g/week).
Sources: Omega-6; seeds and their oils..
Note: be careful if you are currently taking blood thinning medication.