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This video is for you no matter whether you are just beginning to try for a baby or you and your spouse have been trying for some time without success. We’re going to focus on the male side of reproduction, because we now know that up to 40% of all infertility cases in the western world are a direct result of poor sperm quality. If you have seen a doctor and ruled on any obvious medical problems, it could just be that your reproductive system needs a boost. This is where Menfertility.org can help.
Thankfully, research has now conclusively shown that certain basic nutrients can
• increase sperm motility by up to 23%, ejaculate volume by up to 33% and sperm count by up to 215%
• They’re relatively inexpensive
• Can be effective after just three to six months
• And come without side effects
You can find out more about this by visiting menfertility.org after you’ve watched this video.
A normal man will produce 1000 sperm cells every single second. That is a mind boggeling 3.6 million sperm an hour, 100 million per day and more than 3 billion per year! Unfortunately we can count ourselves lucky if just half of them have a normal shape and only 20% of them swim fast and in a straight line. Good quality sperm is measured in terms of numbers, (or count); shape (or morphology) and movement (or motility). There is a worrying trend in male fertility – it is steadily dropping and noone knows exactly why!
We produce less sperm than we have ever before: In 2010 the World Health Organisation dropped its minimum normal count to 15 million per ml. In 1999, 20 million sperm cells per ml was still considered normal. Male sperm count is currently dropping at 2% per year, which might not sound like a lot, but over 20 years that means our sperm count has actually halved! Now, don’t be scared just yet – of the several million sperm we produce, several hundred thousand will still be top quality and ….. as you know – it takes just 1!
You have probably seen what a normal sperm cell should look like, but possibly around 50% of your sperm may look like this…. (Giant Head); Or this (Tiny Head)…. Or this… (Two Heads)
Did you know that your best swimmers can swim up to 20 cm per hour? They want to swim quickly the few centimetres through the cervix and uterus, before they hopefully find an egg to fertilise. Now this may sound straight forward, but it is not, because the majority of sperm don’t swim very well:
Sperm motility is classified into 4 strands.
• Mobility IV = Progressively motile, which means that it moves in a straight line, which is great!
• Mobility III = Progressively motile, but not linear; which is when it moves sort of straight forward
• Mobility II = Non-progressively motile, when it moves all over the place, mostly in circles – not good… and
• Mobility I = Non-motile, when it doesn’t move at all, which is not good at all.
Of course the exact percentages and numbers are different for every man. And only a professional semen analysis will tell you your exact results. You can probably now see that there are many factors that can change and affect your overall chance of fertility. That is the very reason why we have to produce so many of them – To increase the chance that a few – and only the strongest and fastest swimmers ever will – will get to successfully fertilise a woman’s egg.
The bottom line is that sperm quality is a direct reflection of a man’s health. If you are healthy, very likely, so is your sperm. Thankfully you can do quite a bit to make sure you produce more of your best swimmers! This is where the challenge is: our lives are stressful. We have lots of pressure and less and less free time, which causes stress.
On top of that, we eat more and more processed foods, which have often lost their natural ingredients and carry addititives, fillers, preservatives and colourings, many of which are carcinogenic and have unknown long-term effects. In fact these two factors are thought to be the main reasons for the 50% drop in sperm count over the last twenty years.
Several nutrients have been shown to help your swimmers achieve their optimum potential and chances to reach their goal, and fertilise the egg. The great thing is that no side effects are known, but nevertheless, do talk to your doctor, nutritionist or pharmacist first. Now, lets look at the nutrients. There are four groups of them: amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and trace-elements. Let’s take each of them in turn:
The THREE amino acids you should take are Arginine, or L-arginine.
This helps to improve sperm count and morphology, because it is a building block in the sperm’s head. The foods richest in Arginine are red meat such as beef and lamb and also walnuts. The second amino acid is Carnitine or L-Carnitine, which is important for sperm motility, because it provides energy. Again, most Carnitine is found in read meat.
Other foods unfortunately provide very little of it. The third amino acid is called L-Cysteine or Cysteine. It is an antioxidant, which protects the sperm’s most precious cargo – the DNA – from damage by free radicals.
By doing so it also protects the body from aging overall. Lots of Cysteine can be found in pork, chicken, soy, raw salmon, eggs and sunflower seeds. Cysteine is used by the body to make Glutathione, which is considered to be one of nature’s most powerful in the human body.
The only antioxidant you need to take to boost your fertility is Coenzyme Q10.
There are THREE vitamins you need to take
The first one Vitamin B9, also known as Folic Acid. Folic acid is important for cell division and has been shown to reduce chromosomal defects in sperm.
Folic acid is mostly found in green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale. Vitamin C helps to naturally balance hormone levels, supports the immune system, and increases iron absorption. Vitamin C is found mainly in citrus fruits, peppers, kiwis and papayas.
The third vitamin is Vitamin E. This is essential for the absorption of fats such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are used to make hormones. Vitamin E is mainly found in the same foods as Folic acid and vitamin c. Finally, the two trace elements you need to take to improve your fertility are Zinc, which is not only essential for male sexual hormone production, but specifically for sperm it has been shown to boost sperm quantity, improve their shape, and stimulate the motility of male sperm. Zinc is best consumed through red meat, pork, chicken, nuts and beans.
Finally, Selenium is present in semen in relatively high amounts, and there is evidence that selenium supplementation affects sperm motility. Selenium is best sourced through Brazil nuts, tuna, dark bread, pork and red meat.
All of these eight nutrients are most likely already present in your diet, but most likely not in sufficient dosages to maximise the effectiveness of your sperm. The challenge is to supply these nutrients to your body both cost effectively and in sufficient dosages: To get your daily amounts of arginine and folic acid for example, you need to eat 1kg of steak and three cups of green vegetables every single day, for at least 3 months before it would have any effect.
Therefore, if you started eating all the right nutrients today, it will only affect the sperm you ejaculate in three months time. Futhermore, you need to keep this diet up until your partner gets pregnant. All of this means it’s not always convenient and cost-effective to eat all the recommended foods. It costs time and money to source good quality ingredients. Vegetarians especially, will find sourcing some of the meat-based nutrients like arginine, cartnitine and zinc a challenge.
It is for this reason that several male fertility food supplements have become available on the market. These supplements are all very different in terms of price and nutrients they provide. Menfertility.org has carefully compared the 10 most popular male fertility supplements available to the UK market. To read the comparison, and find out which products did well and why just click on the link above to view the video.