Male infertility is a big deal these days due to numerous factors from diet to exposures of a wide variety of environmental pollutants including harmful chemicals, radio frequency and electromagnetic radiations. Also, gluten has some negative affect the sperms some degree eventually hurting the ability to impregnate.
There’s no substitute for a healthy and clean diet in addressing and boosting male fertility and increasing sperm count, but taking certain nutrients through supplementation can further boost the positive effect of good nutrition.
As always, right up front, it’s always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider when it comes to professional health opinions especially in testing male fertility and sperm count.
Here is a list of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients essential for preserving male fertility and increasing the sperm count necessary for fatherhood. In men, it’s not enough to perform well between the sheets, but the ability of his sperm cell to fertilize the female egg forming a new life.
1. Folic Acid
A study on Folic Acid along with Zinc effect on both fertile and sub-fertile men led to a 74% increase in sperm counts in the sub-fertile men who took both both supplements for a period of 14 days, or 2 weeks. This is a very simple solution for men with low sperm count.
To get folic acid, eating food sources like leafy green vegetables including spinach, moringa, and some considered weeds greens like purslane that not only contain potassium and magnesium but folate, as well.
Kale is another good green veggie containing folate plus a load of other minerals and nutrients. Other food sources include citrus fruits like oranges are also good sources of folic acid. The recommended amount of folic acid when taken as a supplement, is 4mg daily.
We’ve just mentioned that Zinc in combination with folic acid has been found to increase sperm count in sub-fertile men. The mineral zinc is one of the primary players in boosting the production of sperm, as well as its quality.
In fact, men with a deficiency and lower sperm count should foods rich in zinc on a daily basis.
There are many dietary male virility enhancing supplements that contain zinc as one of the primary ingredients like Male Extra that also contains L-Arginine, which we’re going to cover later. You’ll be able to find many supplementations containing zinc at Amazon.
Food sources rich in zinc include sesame and pumpkin seeds, lentils, beans like garbanzo, pinto and kidney beans, quinoa, soy products like tofu and tempeh, nuts like cashew, almond, and walnuts, peas, chia seeds, miso, broccoli and more. When it comes to meat sources including beef, lamb, turkey, and kinds of seafood like shrimp and oysters.
As far as the recommended amount of zinc for daily supplementation, 15mg to 30mg per day. However, for vegetarians it’s 30mg as according to this research, vegetarians have low bioavailability for zinc.
One study conducted by Italian researchers found that oral supplementation of carnitine resulted in an increase in sperm motility.
The men who are in the study took 2 grams of L-Carnitine daily for a period of 3 months and those men who the real L-Carnitine supplementation experienced an improvement in sperm motility or better movement of the sperm, which is a crucial factor in male fertility compared to men who took the placebo.
Linus Pauling Institute of the Oregon State University listed a few food sources rich in L-Carnitine. The NIH also has its own food source recommendation for L-Carnitine listed on this article. For supplementation purposes, the recommended amount is 2 grams daily.
|Beef Steak||3 ounces (about the size of the deck of cards)||81 mg|
|Ground Beef||3 ounces||80 mg|
|Pork||3 ounces||24 mg|
|Canadian Bacon||3 ounces||20 mg|
|Whole Milk||1 cup (8 fluid ounces)||8 mg|
|Fish (cod)||3 ounces||5 mg|
|Chicken Breast||3 ounces||3 mg|
|Ice Cream||1/2 cup (4 ounces)||3 mg|
|Avocado||1 medium size||2 mg|
|American Cheese||1 ounce||1 mg|
|Whole Wheat Bread||2 slices||.2 mg|
|Asparagus||6 spears (1/2 cup)||.2 mg|
When it comes to a food source, there’s nothing beats Brazilian nuts for selenium content. Therefore, make it a habit of eating nuts and prioritize eating Brazilian nuts.
If you don’t like eating nuts, there are other food sources containing selenium like mushrooms, beans, chia seeds, brown rice, broccoli, cabbage, and spinach. Supplementation is also a good way to obtain selenium.
A study found that men who are sub-fertile and take selenium experienced an improvement in sperm motility of movement of the sperm and increase their chances of having a successful conception.
For supplementation, the recommended amount is 200 micrograms a day equivalent to 2 to 3 Brazilian nuts.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant similar to Vitamin C essential to sperm production. In one study, the combination of Vitamin E and selenium has been found to improve sperm motility. The result of the study confirmed the beneficial and protective effects of both supplements in the quality of the semen and researchers recommend their use as a treatment for male infertility.
Another study conducted on boar semen found that high levels of Vitamin E had been confirmed to have a positive effect on sperm motility on both fresh and liquid-stored sperm.
For food sources of Vitamin E, both Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and NIH Office of Dietary Supplements have list of foods rich in vitamin E. For supplementation, studies suggest taking 400mg of Vitamin E daily.
As mentioned earlier, L-Arginine along with Zinc are among the common components found in male dietary virility enhancement pills. L-Arginine is an amino acid naturally occurring in nuts and considered one of the good sperm boosters. L-Arginine helps in increasing sperm count, as well as its motility. There are many studies that support the effectiveness of L-Arginine in boosting male fertility.
Additionally, it also increased blood flow in the body including to the gonads, which is vital for achieving and maintaining good erection quality.
This is why L-Arginine is a very popular ingredient in many male enhancement supplements and vital for men not only for those who want to improve fertility but for overall health purposes.
A 1000mg dosage a day is a good start, and gradually increasing up to 5000mg, but it varies from person to person. The good news, L-Arginine is not only beneficial to men but for women, as well.
Food sources for L-Arginine include turkey and chicken breasts, lean pork loin, pumpkin seeds, edamame, walnuts, and lentils. Of course, there are many others not listed here, so don’t limit yourself to these sources.
7. Tongkat Ali Extract
An extract of Tongkat Ali is considered as the most potent sexual enhancer for men. Tongkat Ali is a herb that grows in Asia. It has been found that Tongkat Ali boosts testosterone level and increase sex drive, increase the production of sperm, increase the volume of sperm, boost ejaculatory stamina, and lessen refractory period, or time of recovery and ready for the next round.
Now you know why it’s considered as the most potent male sexual enhancer.
Examine.com mentioned a study on tongka ali that lasted for 9 months where researchers found a dramatic improvement in semen considering all the parameters especially seminal volume that has significant increase. In another study, tongkat ali has been found as an effective way to balance stress hormone
For food sources, well, it’s only Tongkat Ali and dosage varies from person-to-person. Therefore, when taking Tongkat Ali extract supplement, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation printed on the label or product insert.
Maca is another popular male sexual enhancing herb that grows in the Andes mountains. There are not many men who are taking advantage of the beneficial effects of maca for sexual health and performance.
A research article at Hindawi mentioned a study of maca powder that proved its potency as a male sexual enhancement during the 12 weeks study.
…Subjects consumed 3 g of powdered maca in both above-mentioned studies reported in nine healthy volunteers a statistically significant increase of sperm concentration by 35%, total sperm count by 84%, and count of motile sperm even by 109% after 16 weeks of treatment.
Tancara et al. studied ten patients with clinically diagnosed infertility. Authors did not find any improvement in sperm concentration or total sperm count but reported a statistically significant increase of motile sperm count by 10% and of normal sperm morphology by 12% after 12 weeks of maca consumption; these findings are consistent with ours.
Ginseng has been an extremely well-known sperm enhancer, improve blood blow to the penile area, improve the quality of erections, and an energy enhancer, which is why you can find ginseng in many energy drinks.
A journal in Spermatogenesis called Ginseng King of all herbs and reputable aphrodisiac. Its effects on male sexual function include enhancement in a sexual performance as it boosts energy level, improved male fertility, promotes spermatogenesis and affect on the sperms directly.
There are many kinds of Ginseng but when you’re choosing one for supplementation purposes choose Asian Ginseng, which is also known as the Panax or Korean Ginseng.
It should be taken in cycles, which means take it daily for a period of 3 weeks, then stop taking it for the next 3 weeks, and resume taking.
The recommended dosage is between 200mg to 400mg daily or reads the manufacturer’s recommendation on the label or product insert.
10. Vitamin C
As mentioned earlier, Vitamin C is antioxidant. Men who want to take Vitamin C for fertility enhancement purposes should take an amount ranging from 2,000mg to 6,000mg daily.
Vitamin C helps in preventing the sperm from sticking together improving its motility and fertility.
These are the essential nutrients and minerals necessary for maintaining male fertility and increasing sperm count.
However, as mentioned earlier, supplements are not absolute substitutes for a clean eating and healthy lifestyle practices. Take these supplementations along with a good nutrition to ensure maximum benefits.
Aside from these nutrients, there are other vital vitamins and minerals in addition to the listed above for improving sperm count and preserving male fertility. These include the following;
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) (9 to 12 grams daily)
- Chromium (1,000 mcg daily)
- Copper (2 mg daily)
- CoEnzyme Q10 (400 mg daily)
- B-complex vitamins (50 mg daily)
- Vitamin B12 (1,000 mcg daily)
As always, if in doubt, consult your healthcare provider for proper guidance especially when it comes to dosage. Of course, eat healthy as always as taking supplementation in combination with good nutrition can ensure maximum benefits.