Male infertility; how diet helps fight it

Male infertility; how diet helps fight it

Male infertility; how diet helps fight it


A fact is that almost 90% of men at one point in their lives will complain of having a sexual problem. The problems range from having sexually transmitted infections, lack of interest in sex, poor sex health in terms of performance among others.  These may affect a man’s ego, social understanding, create more anxieties especially when one starts to think that he may not be able to satisfy his sexual partner.

Men with sexual problems almost end up in hopelessness and may feel shameful to discuss these with their partners of health care providers.The good thing is that most of the time, a man can take control of his sexual life. Most of the problems a man encounters are physical, medical psychological and social that can be modified. Like in many other health conditions, nutritional awareness and satisfaction comes top among the remedies for most of them. In this article, we focus on infertility in men and how to improve it. Infertility in men can be caused by various conditions such as erectile dysfunction, poor sperm count, ejaculatory disorders and infections that affect sperm development. Here is a brief nutritional advice for men with infertility problems.

Nutritional foods

Bee products such as honey or pollen are very important for ones health. The foods contain high glucose levels and other substances such as Propolis. Propolis has been shown to prevent male infertility by protecting the sperm from oxidative damage from free radicals. It acts as an antioxidant against such radicals and helps eliminate them form the system.

Herbal foods

  • Ashwagandha, also known as the Indian ginseng, a plant in the pepper family found in India. The plant’s roots have been used medicinally in India and Africa for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments including inflammation, fever, infertility, and impotence. The roots contain withanoloids, naturally occurring oxygenated ergostane-type steroids similar to ginsenosides, the active components of ginseng. Ashwagandha helps to increase the sperm production in males.
  • The Korean Ginseng has also been prove not only to improve a man’s libido but also may alleviate male infertility by increasing sperm count and hormone levels such as testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Siberian ginseng a distant relative to the more popular Korean (Panax; Chinese) ginseng has a reputation for enhancing stamina.
  • Passion Flower has been shown to counterbalance stress and fatigue by calming and soothing the body. The herb may alleviate male infertility due to the antioxidants called isoflavanoids such as Tri-Substituted Benzoflavone Moiety (BZF) that act as scavengers in the reproductive system removing all radicals that affect the sperm quality
  • Rosemary a perennial evergreen herb with aromatic linear leaves that grows as a shrub. It is used in the food industry with tomato sauce, marinades, and soups where the herbal extracts acts as antioxidants. The herb contains rosemaricine, which can stimulate the digestive tract, and help with fat digestion. It has also been used as an antiseptic mouthwash and gargle. The extract of rosemary, the rosmarinic acid helps to relax the smooth muscles of trachea and intestine. It has bee shown to improve the sperm quality and motility. It also increases the production of prostaglandin E2 and important hormone in reproduction.
  • Zinc. A Zinc supplementation dose of 220 mg of zinc sulfate (equivalent to 50 mg of elemental zinc) given three times a day for seven to eight weeks has been shown to improve wound healing in zinc-deficient patients. In his study in 1981, Netter, 1981 followed up infertile males especially those with low sperm counts for a five years’ duration or longer having given them 60 mg of elemental zinc per day for 40 – 50 days. The result was that the sperm count increased by 2.75-fold in patients with initially-low plasma testosterone levels and 41% of wives of the patients became pregnant. Zinc had no effect on fertility in men with initially-normal testosterone levels. The sources of zinc include: nuts (macadamia, Brazilian, hazel, almonds, peanuts) green peas, egg York, wheat and beef. Highest conc. of zinc is in oysters (150gm per 100 grams of oyster), liver (6.0) ginger (6.8) and brewers yeast at 7.8 mg per 100 grams of yeast.
  • Vitamin E. Studies show that vitamin E taken by men with normal sperm counts but low fertilization rates given as 200 IU of vitamin E per day for three months helps to remove the free radical levels in semen and to increase the fertilization rate by 30%. The supplements are recommended for treating male infertility. Other vitamins that are of much help include vitamin B12, A and C.
  • Velvet beans have also been shown to be useful for the treatment of male infertility. The beans contain high alkaloids content.
  • Fish oils may also alleviate male infertility.  They contain substances such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that improve sperm motility. Test tube studies show the ability of alkylglycerols (derived from shark liver oil) to improve sperm motility and fertility. It is recommended to use the shark liver oil to improve male sperm functions.

Much as we advice on proper diets for improving fertility, some foods have been shown to have detrimental effects on male fertility. The following substances or foods have been show n to affect male fertility.

  1. Marijuana. This herb when taken for a period of time reduces sperm count and also affects motility. It is good to avoid smoking marijuana if you want to improve your fertility.
  2. Tobacco. Heavy tobacco smoking has been associated with low sperm count, poor sperm motility, and morphology. Smoking also affects the function of small blood vessels by blocking the arteries affecting flow.
  3. Excess Garlic. Consuming large amounts of raw garlic may cause temporary male infertility by inhibiting sperm production. This is restored after some time.
  4. Cottonseed oil. When taken in large amounts, the oils contain Gossypol that has been shown to reduce male fertility. It has been shown to cause dangerous mutations in sperm thereby affecting sperm quality.