The four commonly used markers of sperm health are sperm count, sperm morphology, sperm motility, and semen volume. When you have a problem with any
The four commonly used markers of sperm health are sperm count, sperm morphology, sperm motility, and semen volume. When you have a problem with any of these sperm parameters, it may take longer for you and your partner to conceive.
Numerous factors such as lifestyle, genetic makeup, diet, and reproductive health conditions can affect your sperm health. Among these factors, it would be easiest for you to control your nutritional intake. By improving your diet, you can also help enhance your sperm health. Here’s a short list of vitamins that are important for the health of your sperm.
Why You Should Take Vitamins for Your Sperm Health
During each phase of sperm production, DNA synthesis is an important factor. You would want each of your sperm cells to have the right DNA material and the right number of chromosomes, otherwise, it would prove problematic for your offspring later on.
Unfortunately, most of the materials that your body needs for DNA synthesis have to be derived from your diet. This means that if you’re not eating the right foods with the right nutrients, it can have negative effects on how your sperm cells grow and develop.
In addition, there are several nutrients that are essential for your spermatozoa. The growth and development of your sperm cells are highly dependent on certain nutrients such as zinc.
The survival and health of your sperm are also dependent on how much antioxidant protection is available for them in your testicles, as well as in your seminal plasma. Vitamins like ascorbic acid or vitamin C help provide antioxidant protection for your sperm.
B vitamins including niacin and folate are essential for your sperm health. Niacin, for instance, helps with DNA synthesis and protects your DNA material from being damaged through the various stages of cell division involved in sperm production.
In addition, B vitamins also help regulate the production of an endogenous antioxidant called homocysteine, a compound that protects your sperm cells as they go through the various stages of sperm production until they mature fully.
Folate or vitamin B9 is also necessary for the production of DNA and RNA. One of the functions of folate is to regulate cysteine and methionine which are amino acids that help in the process of DNA synthesis.
However, folate derived from your diet must first be broken down into a form that is usable by your body. For this to happen, you need vitamin B12 or cobalamin and zinc. This means that without these nutrients, you won’t be able to fully use whatever folate you may absorb from your food.
You can easily get zinc from various foods like nuts and not just oysters or shellfish. What’s sad, however, is that a lot of people still have very low levels of zinc, and that affects their fertility.
In men, zinc is found in high concentrations in the testes, prostate gland, and even in the semen. This important mineral plays crucial roles in both testosterone metabolism and testicular development, as well as in sperm production and sperm development.
Zinc plays an active role in the regulation of your sperm’s oxygen consumption. The mineral is also important for the sperm’s acrosome reaction which necessary in order for your sperm cell to penetrate the egg cell and merge with it. In addition, zinc also helps maintain cell nuclei stability, and functions as an antioxidant in your seminal fluid.
A water-soluble antioxidant, ascorbic acid or vitamin C is another important nutrient for sperm health. In healthy men, high concentrations of vitamin C are typically found in the seminal plasma. That’s because vitamin C helps protect your sperm from oxidative stress.
The more you consume vitamin C-rich foods, the higher the concentration of vitamin C in your seminal plasma. When you have a high concentration of vitamin C in your semen, it can help protect your sperm from DNA damage.
This is why men who have fertility issues are often advised to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables that are packed with vitamin C such as citrus fruits and berries. Cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, and papaya are also excellent natural sources of vitamin C.
Whereas vitamin C is soluble in water, vitamin E, on the other hand, is soluble in fat. This is why vitamin E is very important for protecting your fat-rich spermatozoa from various free radicals.
A sperm cell actually contains high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are vulnerable to lipid peroxidation. Vitamin E helps prevent lipid peroxidation, thereby protecting the cellular integrity of your spermatozoa.
Studies also indicate that vitamin E is a good scavenger of free radicals and that the vitamin is extremely effective in reducing oxidative stress levels in infertile men. Vitamin E is also associated with improved sperm motility and sperm morphology.
Antioxidant-Rich Herbs for Your Sperm
Aside from taking vitamin and mineral supplements, another way for you to improve your sperm health is by taking herb-based dietary supplements that are rich in antioxidants. For infertile men, Tribulus terrestris, Ashwagandha, and Tongkat Ali have been shown to help improve sperm parameters.
These herbs are actually rich in various antioxidants, which is also why they have so many health benefits. Tongkat Ali, for example, has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
However, the herb is also very popular as an aphrodisiac, testosterone booster, erection enhancer, adaptogen, and energy booster. In addition, Tongkat Ali is also used to increase sperm count and concentration. Moreover, the herb also has positive effects on sperm motility and semen volume.
Tribulus terrestris is another herb that’s rich in antioxidants, particularly steroidal saponins. It also contains flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, and glycosides. The protective effects of Tribulus terrestris on testicular cells and function are attributed to the herb’s rich antioxidant content.
Aside from protecting your testicular cells, Tribulus terrestris also helps increase testosterone and sperm production. Studies also indicate that when you take Tribulus terrestris, your sperm motility and sperm morphology can greatly improve.