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3 key nutrients for male fertility
Blog | 3 key nutrients for male fertility

3 key nutrients for male fertility

Feb | 2017 | Team Foresight

Male fertility and preconception planning

The importance of preconception preparation in the male is often sadly neglected as the emphasis is frequently put upon the female, especially when sperm tests have been conducted and found to be normal. However, it has been Foresight’s experience over the years, that even when sperm test results appear to be good, essential reproductive minerals such as zinc and selenium are frequently lacking in the male. In addition, metal toxicity can also be present, which can affect fertility and can also be a contributory factor for miscarriage in the female after conception. Studies have shown that there is an increased risk of miscarriage when there are sperm abnormalities[i].  The good news is much can be done to improve these issues.

At Foresight we recommend you allow at least 3 months preparation time to optimise your health prior to conception. Although men produce sperm constantly, it takes 2.5 to 3 months (around 74 days to be exact) for sperm to fully mature. Optimising your health during this time can really impact on your sperm quality, including motility and morphology. Motility and morphology are important qualities, ensuring that the most healthy of sperm has the strength, shape and speed to be able to reach the egg, penetrate it’s outer shell and fertilise it.

Key nutrients for male fertility and preconception care

1) Manganese and male fertility

Manganese is an essential trace mineral and antioxidant required for numerous enzyme reactions, energy production, bone growth and development, lipid metabolism and nerve function. Certain amounts of manganese are needed for normal sperm function, but an imbalance has been shown to harm male fertility. A high intake or too much environmental exposure can reduce sperm quality and quantity, influencing male infertility. Elevated copper can also impact on manganese levels. The multi-nutrient for men contains a measured dose of manganese which supports balanced levels within the body. Due to the importance of each individual maintaining balanced manganese levels within the body, hair mineral analysis testing is advised.

2) Selenium and male fertility

Selenium is one of the key minerals in our multi-nutrient for men supplement. Selenium is a powerful anti-oxidant, widely recognized for its role in reducing potentially damaging free radicals to harmless substances such as water. It is a key mineral for reproduction and good levels are important to safeguard against foetal damage. Insufficient selenium can impair immune function, and can be a causal factor in recurrent illnesses. Selenium is essential for reproductive health, thyroid function and an efficient immune system, displaying anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and, combined with vitamin E, promotes anti-inflammatory pathways.  Selenium is protective against toxic heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, which can affect sperm development. The level is important in both partners. Good levels of Selenium are essential to maximise sperm formation and are also needed for optimum testosterone production.  Trials have found selenium to be a key fertility mineral in the male[ii].  Blood selenium levels have been found to be significantly lower in men with low sperm counts[iii].

3) Zinc and male fertility

Zinc is essential for general health and immune system function as well as being a fundamental mineral for reproductive health and particularly for the proper development of sperm[iv]. Zinc deficiency can cause chromosome changes in either the man or the woman, leading to reduced fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage. Studies have also shown that zinc deficiency in men causes a temporary but reversible reduction in sperm count and reduced testosterone levels[v] which can be a causal factor in erectile dysfunction. Zinc deficiency has also been associated with low libido.  Optimal zinc levels also help to prevent copper levels getting too high, which is important because high copper levels and low zinc levels in both the male and female can be a risk factor for miscarriage.

Men and copper imbalance

Men are more affected when copper is out of balance than women are in many cases.  While most women tend to have more copper in their bodies naturally, due to its relationship to the hormone oestrogen, making them oestrogen-dominant, men by contrast should be zinc-dominant.  Zinc balances copper in the body and is essential for male reproductive and particularly sperm health.

If you or your partner are seeking guidance on mineral or heavy metal levels prior to conception or for general health please contact us.

Supplement for male health and fertility

The Foresight Multi-nutrient for Men 

Offers and packages are available here

With a range of vitamins including E, C, K and 30mg (1000IU) of Vitamin D3. The whole B complex including body-ready forms of folic acid (methyl folate) and methyl cobalamin (Vitamin B12). A range of key minerals including magnesium, zinc, manganese, food state selenium and GTF chromium. We have also included CoQ10 and L-Arginine for male health, as well as Beta Glucan’s for immune support and Lycopene for its very promising results in the treatment of male infertility.

The Foresight Multi Nutrient for Men is the result of over 3 decades’ worth of working with male fertility, combining research, experience and expertise in promoting optimum health, preconception care and natural fertility.

Since 1978, Foresight has helped thousands of couples have healthy babies by focusing on nutrition, addressing toxicity, advising appropriate lifestyle changes and by generally supporting individuals and couples on their fertility journey.  Changes to both diet and lifestyle can sometimes be challenging, but making these changes will give you the best possible chance of optimising your fertility.

 

 

References

[i] Furuhjelm et al, ‘The quality of human semen in spontaneous abortion’, International Journal of Fertiltiy, vol 7 (1962), pp. 17-21.

[ii] Scott, R. et al, ‘Selenium supplementation in subfertile human males’, in P.W.F. Fischer et al (eds), Trace Elements in man and animals – 9 (TEMA 9), Ottawa NRC Research Press (1997).

[iii] Krznjavi, H. et al, ‘Selenium and fertility in men’, Trace Elements in Medicine, vol 9(2) (1992), pp. 107-8.

[iv] Davies, S., ‘Zinc, nutrition and health’, in E. Bland (ed), 1984-1985 Yearbook of Nutritional Medicine, Keats Publishing, New Canaan, Connecticut (1985), pp. 113-52.

[v] 1) Abbasi, A.A et al, ‘Experimental zinc deficiency in man: effect on testicular function’, Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, vol 96 (1980), pp. 544-50.  2) Hunt, C.D. et al, ‘Effects of dietary zinc depletion on seminal volume and zinc loss, serum testosterone concentration and sperm morphology in young men’, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol 56 (1992), pp. 148-57.

Written by Team Foresight

Team Foresight

Foresight is a pioneering charity which helps couples to conceive happy, healthy babies. By optimising health in both parents we support fertility and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Website: http://foresight-preconception.org.uk