antioxidant rich foods for fertility

The difficulty of getting pregnant seems to be worsening rapidly, especially with many couples trying to have children at a later stage in their lives.

While most of the practical advice and emotional support associated with infertility target women in particular, research has shown that infertility in men plays an equal role among couples who have difficulty conceiving.

Studies have revealed that about a third of infertility cases in the United States are caused by fertility problems in men, and one out of every 7 couples in Britain faces difficulties in conceiving, which is equivalent to 3.5 million individuals.

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Is male infertility on the rise?

Over the past few decades, sperm concentration has decreased by more than 50% among men, with no evidence of “stability,” according to a 2017 study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The study analyzed the results of 185 studies involving 43,000 men, from North America, Europe and Australia, which revealed a significant decline in male reproductive health, although the researchers said that an extensive study is needed to explore the cause of this decline.

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 Can a diet help boost male fertility?

Studies suggest that diet may play a major role in male fertility. The effect of dietary patterns, foods, and nutrients on semen quality and characteristics was explored in a comprehensive study of the research available through 2016.

This study, published in the journal “Human Reproductive Update”, found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and some antioxidants (vitamin E, C, beta-carotene, selenium, zinc and lycopene) with a lower percentage of saturated fat was associated with improved sperm quality.

Certain foods, such as fish, shellfish, poultry, grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products, positively affect sperm quality.

Conversely, a diet rich in processed red meat, full-fat dairy, coffee, alcohol and sugar has been shown to harm sperm quality in some cases.

While there is limited evidence for the effect of nutrition on semen quality, it appears that about 30-80% of male infertility cases are caused by oxidative stress, which results from the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at a rate that outpaces the availability of the antioxidants needed to neutralize the damage done. .

A high concentration of ROS in sperm cells can alter the DNA and affect their motility, vitality and concentration, which could harm male fertility.

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The most common factors that induce oxidative stress:

1- smoking

This bad habit can cause inflammation in the body and increase the number of white blood cells (immune cells) in the testicles. Smoking can affect impotence, as nicotine impairs blood flow by narrowing small arteries, such as those in the penis.

2- alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can affect the shape of sperm.

3- Obesity

It can increase the production of ROS causing abnormally regulated hormones, which have been shown to negatively affect sperm quality. Obesity is also a risk factor for diabetes, the main cause of impotence.

4- stress

Several studies have shown how stress can increase the level of ROS in seminal plasma, while decreasing the protection provided by antioxidants, leading to a lower sperm quality.

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What foods help boost male fertility?

1-fruits and vegetables:

It is rich in nutrients such as vitamins, which act as antioxidants in the body.

A study found that there is a direct relationship between the production of “ROS” in sperm cells, and the intake of antioxidants, which help reduce damage.

2- Foods rich in zinc, selenium and vitamin C

Zinc can be found in meat, cheese, whole grains, and nuts. Low zinc consumption was associated with lower sperm counts and lower testosterone levels.

Selenium, which is found in nuts, fish, poultry and eggs, is necessary for the normal production and development of sperm. Vitamin C is also believed to help prevent sperm cells from clumping together.

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Do nutritional supplements enhance male fertility?

Dietary supplements should never be considered a substitute for food, but a large review of the evidence regarding supplement use and male fertility, published in the International Journal of Bioreproductive Medicine, concluded that (in most studies) antioxidant supplementation improved sperm count, as well as sperm motility and DNA. .

  • The combination of vitamins C, E and CoQ10 appears to be effective in improving semen parameters in infertile men.
  • The researchers found a direct relationship between the number of sperm and the amount of ubiquinol coenzyme Q10 present in the semen. The higher the level of the enzyme, the higher the number of sperm.
  • A good diet can be a good way to ensure the intake of essential nutrients associated with fertility.
  • However, if you are having difficulty conceiving, you should seek medical advice in order to assess the need for any fertility-enhancing therapies.

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