Approximately 30% of male infertility is classified as idiopathic. This means that there is an unexplained reduction in the quality of semen in regards to sperm motility, morphology and count in males who appear otherwise normal in endocrine testing and physical examination.
Over recent years, there has been a surge in medications that are designed to help treat male idiopathic fertility.
The three products in focus are are Prelox by PharmaNord, VIGARIN by aminoexpert and m forte by amitamin. They all use a blend of French maritime pine bark extract and the amino acid arginine and have been formulated specifically to help men with erectile dysfunction.
However, a study with one of the products has shown that these natural supplements may also assist men with idiopathic infertility.
Research by Nikolova and colleagues investigated the effects of Prelox in a clinical study1. A group of fifty male patients with idiopathic infertility were treated with Prelox® to determine its effects on key sperm parameters.
Golden standard in scientific research
The study was carried out using a meticulous, golden standart framework to guarantee scientifically valid results. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study was conducted over a five month period. The first month was an introduction period where current sperm health was assessed; this was followed by two months of treatment, with a month in-between for a wash-out period. Another month was used to assess the results of supplementation with Prelox.
To determine the success of the treatment, researchers preformed a range of tests. They assessed sperm quality using a conventional semen analysis, spermatozoa function test, and tests that measured the ability of spermatozoa to penetrate cervical mucus.
Researchers found that sperm quality improved in all the study participants. Middle-aged men reported better sperm quality results compared with younger study participants. These results are very encouraging, but ultimately require further investigation.
Although Arginine and Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol) such as amitamin m forte, aminoexpert VIGARIN and PharmaNord’s Prelox are designed to promote circulation and marketed as impotence remedies, their ingredients do have advantages for sperm health. There has been lots of research that has confirmed the benefits of arginine for sperm development. Separate research2 has confirmed a positive influence of pine bark extract on sperm health.
Arginine is needed in the testicles to manufacture spermin, a special polyamine required to support and preserve DNA. Spermin plays an essential role in cell division and sperm mobility. Without adequate levels of this amino acid, not only will men struggle to maintain erections, the quality of their sperm will also decline.
The extract of French maritime pine bark has attracted a lot of attention over recent years. There is a growing body of research that supports the use of this botanical extract for improving fertility in men. Studies have shown that pine back extract can help to enhance sperm mobility, count, and morphology. This plant extract is rich in antioxidants that assist to protect sperm from oxidative stress. This is very important for the healthy development of sperm.
While amitamin m forte, aminoexpert VIGARIN and PharmaNord’s Prelox may be marketed towards men that have erectile dysfunction, men with idiopathic infertility may want to consider this supplement to improve fertility. As with any supplement, it’s always a good idea to consult a medical practitioner before taking the product.
- Nikolova V, Stanislavov R, Vatev I, Nalbanski B, Pŭnevska M. Sperm parameters in male idiopathic infertility after treatment with prelox. Akush Ginekol. 2007. 46(5): 7-12 ↩
- Roseff SJ. Improvement in sperm quality and function with French maritime pine tree bark extract. Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2002. 47(10): 821-4 ↩