Top 10 Male Fertility Supplements

March 4, 2015 by in category sexual health with 0 and 1

The reproductive system in males includes the scrotum, penis, sex glands, testis and the spermatic ducts. These organs work in tandem to produce male reproductive cells called sperms as well as semen.

human sperm

During sexual intercourse, the semen and sperm enter the woman’s vagina where it can fertilize her eggs and lead to conception. All this is possible when the male reproductive system is working well, with proper co-ordination between the different sex organs.

Sperm count

Sperm count is the measurement of how many million sperm there are in each milliliter of fluid (semen). The accepted standard for a normal sperm count is 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

If a man’s sperm count is less than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen, he is considered to have a “low” sperm count, medically known as oligozoospermia. A sperm count less than 5 million sperm per milliliter of semen is referred to as severe oligozoospermia. When no sperm are present in a given semen sample, this is called azoospermia.

Sperm Quality

It is the ability of a sperm to achieve fertilization and is thus a measure of fertility in a man. The main factors affecting sperm quality are age, heat, physical trauma, certain medications, hormones and dietary factors. Continuous and excessive exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic waves (like in mobile phones) is also known to adversely affect sperm motility and potency.

Seminal Motility

Seminal motility is defined as the forward, swimming motion of sperm. In order to fertilize the egg, it must travel quickly through the female reproductive system which requires strong swimming action.

The chemical composition of semen gives it a thick, sticky consistency and an alkaline pH (i.e. non-acidic property). This helps the semen to remain within the vagina after intercourse and neutralize the acidic environment of the vagina and thus helps fertilize the eggs.

Low sperm count and low sperm motility are common causes of male infertility. Fertility experts estimate that male infertility is the cause behind up to 50% of couples experiencing fertility issues. As a result,it is important for the male partner to undergo a comprehensive semen analysis at the earliest sign of trying to conceive difficulties.

Compared to many of the female fertility tests and exams, semen analysis i.e. test for male fertility is non-invasive, relatively inexpensive, and produces results quickly, making it a valuable tool for couples trying unsuccessfully to conceive.

Various supplements are believed to be helpful in improving sperm count and seminal motility among men. The commonly used supplements, classified according to their actual usefulness, as proven by scientific studies are compiled here.

Supplements that actually improve sperm count & motility

 

Coenzyme Q10

This is a vitamin-like substance which is present in the cells of our body. It is involved in the generation of energy in the body. It is sold as a dietary supplement and is believed to be useful in improving sexual function in men.

COENZYME supplement

In addition to being helpful in improving erectile function in men, it is also believed to be helpful in improving seminal motility in men which plays a vital role in male fertility.

Some of the studies in support of these claims are discussed below.

Clinical Proof #1

Safarinejad, a scientist from the Urology and Nephrology Research Centre of Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran in Iran conducted a scientific trial in 2009 on 212 infertile men with low sperm count and reduced sperm motility by giving them Coenzyme Q10 supplementation and checking its effect on sperm function.

These men were randomly divided into 2 treatment groups.

  1. Group 1 was given 300 mg Coenzyme Q10 orally (by mouth) on a daily basis for 26 weeks.
  2. Group 2 was given placebo (substance similar to real supplement but which does not have the biological effect of real supplement) daily for 26 weeks.

After the completion of these 26 weeks of treatment, no treatment was given for the next 30 weeks.

The researcher measured sperm motility and sperm count of these men before and after treatment to know the effect of treatment. Significant improvement was seen in both the sperm count and sperm motility of the men who were given Coenzyme Q10.

Results also showed that with increase in treatment duration, sperm count and motility increased i.e. sperm count and motility increased progressively from week 1 to 26 of treatment.

Safarinejad however concludes that further research is needed to cement this belief.

Clinical Proof #2

Another research study was done in 2004 by Balercia and a team of researchers on infertile men with reduced sperm motility by giving them Coenzyme Q10 and seeing its effect on semen parameters.

These men were given Coenzyme Q10 orally (by mouth) for 6 months. Their semen samples were collected twice; once before starting the study and then after completion of supplementation i.e. at the end of 6 months.

The sperm cell motility showed a substantial increase at the end of 6 months of oral Coenzyme Q10 supplementation.

Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens is a pretty popular Ayurvedic herb, also referred to as Cowhage, Velvet Bean and Kapikachhu. It contain L-DOPA which plays a very important role in the formation of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are responsible for sending signals across the network of nerves in the human body.

mucuna pruriens

This herb has been traditionally used in India since centuries for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, for improving mental function as well as for enhancement of sexual function.

The recommended daily dose for Mucuna Pruriens is between 200 and 500 mg. It is advisable to start with 200 mg at a time and only increase if this amount is well tolerated and does not give undesirable side effects.

The most important active ingredient of Mucuna Pruriens which is believed to help in boosting male fertility among other health benefits is L-DOPA. Usually the amount of L-DOPA

in Mucuna Pruriens supplement is 15% which means that taking 200 mg of Mucuna Pruriens would give you 30 mg of L-DPOA which is a good amount to give health benefits.

The most commonly available commercial forms of this herb supplement are seeds and powdered extract from and can be mixed in beverages and smoothies. It is best to consume with food to ensure that it is properly absorbed from your intestines.

Clinical Proof #1

Shukla and co-workers did a study in 2010 to find out if supplementation of Mucuna Pruriens was in fact helpful in improving semen quality among infertile men.

Total 120 men were enrolled in this study. Out of these 60 men were such who were undergoing infertility treatment and were stressed. Another 60 men who were healthy, had normal semen parameters and had initiated at least one pregnancy were also included in the study.

The second group of healthy men were used as “controls” in the study. This means that they were used as a base for comparison for the infertile men. This comparison would help the researcher know how much improvement was seen in the infertile men due to the treatment.

The first group of men (those undergoing infertility treatment) were given 5 gm/day Mucuna Pruriens seeds orally (by mouth).

Semen samples were collected from both groups of men once before the start of the treatment and then after 3 months of treatment.

Result highlights:

  • Before starting treatment, group 1 men had decreased sperm count and sperm motility.
  • After treatment, these men became relatively stress-free with reduced cortisol levels.
  • Treatment also restored key seminal properties like levels of superoxide dismutase(SOD), catalase, seminal plasma glutathione(GSH) and ascorbic acid in seminal plasma of infertile men towards normal levels.
  • Overall, the Mucuna Pruriens supplementation improved sperm count and sperm motility among men in Group 1.

Mucuna Pruriens supplementation helps in relieving stress and improving semen quality, sperm count and sperm motility among infertile men who are stressed.

Clinical Proof #2

Gupta and his groups of scientists did a trial on 230 men in 2011 to see if Mucuna Pruriens improved semen qualities among them. For this, 180 infertile men and 50 fertile men were enrolled in the study.

Age group of both groups was similar to enable a fair basis for comparison of the two groups.

  1. Group 1 had 180 infertile men. They were given Mucuna Pruriens seed powder for a period of 3 months
  2. Group 2 had 50 fertile men who were not given any such supplement.

Degree of infertility among these men was measured by evaluating their sperm concentration, motility and other related parameters. Hormone concentration of serum was also measured.

Results:

  • Mucuna Pruriens supplementation reactivated metabolic pathways and energy metabolism in the men of Group 1.
  • Revitalized the balance of male hormones in infertile men.
  • Men treated with Mucuna Pruriens therapy were found to have rectified levels of the perturbed alanine, GPC, citrate, phenylalanine and histidine content in seminal plasma.
  • In the men in Group 1, various clinical parameters in seminal plasma and blood serum improved post therapy and these men showed overall improved semen quality

These results suggest use of Mucuna Pruriens to be beneficial in treatment of infertility by improving the semen quality.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a very important nutrient for our body. It enhances our immunity, prevents deficiencies, strengthens the heart, helps in wound healing, maintains good skin, healthy gums and is a powerful antioxidant which is known to lower cancer risk in addition to preventing other degenerative diseases which are a result of aging.

vitamin c

It is of utmost importance for absorption of iron from foods in human beings and thus contributes to maintaining a healthy hemoglobin status.

It is a nutrient which is readily available in citrus fruits like lemon, kiwi and oranges; guava, strawberries, papaya; dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli. bell peppers (red and green). tomatoes

For supplementation, Vitamin C is available alone or in combination with other nutrients. Vitamin C supplements are generally in the form of ascorbic acid (chemical name for Vitamin C).

It might also be in other forms such as sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate etc. when in combination with other nutrients. However, research has shown that it is equally effective in all forms.

People who smoke or are exposed to second hand smoke (are around people who smoke) are likely to develop Vitamin C deficiency over time as more Vitamin C is consumed by their bodies to repair damage caused by smoke.

Also, people who do not eat a variety of foods are likely to miss out on Vitamin C rich foods and thus develop deficiency. Those who have medical conditions such as mal absorption, kidney disease and some types of cancer may also require Vitamin C supplementation.

It is available commercially in the form of tablets. Experts say that the upper limit of intake (UL) should not exceed 2,000 milligrams daily in men or women more than 18 years old (including pregnant or breastfeeding women).

Effect of Vitamin C supplementation on sexual health is currently under research. However, some evidence is provided by a study done on male workers exposed to lead about the benefits of Vitamin C supplementation on their sperm motility and sperm count.

Clinical Proof

A study was carried out by Vani and co-scientists in 2012 to see if exposure to the metal ‘lead’ caused any adverse effects on their testicular function which can cause infertility. These men were exposed to lead as part of their daily job routine.

The researchers also wanted to see the effect of giving these men 1000 mg/day Vitamin C supplementation for 5 consecutive days each week for 3 months. These men were in the age range of 25-55 years. There was also control group of men who were not exposed to lead that went through similar regimen.

The researchers collected the semen samples from these men to perform semen analysis before and after supplementation which allow them to do a comparative study and see whether there was an improvement in the semen parameters such as sperm count and motility.

Result highlights:

  • Men who were exposed to lead had lower sperm count and motility before supplementation.
  • There was a definite increase in sperm motility of those men after receiving regular doses of vitamin c.
  • Total Sperm Count of these men also improved.
  • Significant decrease in abnormal sperm morphology (structure and specific features) was noticed.

Vitamin C supplementation may be useful in providing protection against the damage caused by lead exposure and improve sperm motility and sperm count among these men. However, more research is needed to find its enhancing properties under other conditions.

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)

Ashwagandha is the common name of an Indian herb, known scientifically as Withania Somnifera. This herb is also known by some other names; Indian Ginseng, Poison Gooseberry and Winter Cherry. The root and berry of this plant are used to make medicine.

Ashwagandha or Withania Somnifera

It is said to be one of the most powerful medicinal plants and has reportedly been used for more than 3,000 years in traditional Indian medicine. It is believed to contain chemicals which might help calm the brain, reduce swelling, lower blood pressure and alter the immune system. It’s widely used for improving thinking ability, decreasing pain and swelling and preventing the degenerative effects of ageing.

Ashwagandha is also known for its usefulness in coping with fertility problems in men as well as women. This is achieved by enhancement of libido (sexual desire) as well as increase in seminal parameters such as sperm count and motility. Another positive effect of Ashwagandha is reduction in stress which is believed to further encourage fertility.

It is commercially available in both powder and capsule form for supplementation purpose. For effective supplementation, studies have shown 300 mg to be the lowest dose at which this herb is effective and the highest dose tested on humans till date is 600 mg per day.

The role of Ashwagandha in improving seminal motility and sperm count are well documented in scientific literature. Two such scientific trials are discussed below.

Clinical Proof #1

In 2013, a group of scientists led by Gupta conducted a scientific trial to assess the effect of Ashwagandha supplementation on 180 infertile Indian men. A total of 180 infertile men were made a part of the study.

These men were given 5 gm/day Ashwagandha root powder for a period of 3 months. Among other parameters, the sperm count and seminal motility of the men in both groups was measured before and after the supplementation period. This was done to assess the infertility levels in the study participants.

Ashwagandha showed definite signs of restoring harmonic balance of seminal plasma metabolites and reproductive hormones in infertile men.

The adversely skewed properties of seminal plasma like citrate, alanine, lactate, GPC, phenylalanine and histidine reached normal levels after completion of 3 months of supplementation which meant that the overall quality of sperms improved significantly.

Ashwagandha supplementation is a promising therapy for dealing with infertility in men with undeniable clear clinical proof.

Clinical Proof #2

A trial done by Ahmad and co-researchers documented the effectiveness of Ashwagandha supplementation in 2010. A total of 75 men who were undergoing infertility screening were given Ashwagandha supplementation.

The researchers aimed to assess the effects, if any of this supplementation on the sperm count, motility as well as reproductive hormone levels. Another aspect of interest was the oxidative stress among these men.

Free radicals are molecules which are produced in our body as a result of normal processes including breathing. They are responsible for the process of aging in human beings and are also believed to contribute to a number of conditions and diseases as we age, including infertility, dementia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease.

The way to counter these free radicals are anti-oxidants which neutralize their effect and thus make us healthier. However, when there is an imbalance between the free radicals and anti-oxidants in the sense that there are insufficient anti-oxidants in the body to combat the free radicals, it gives rise to “oxidative stress”. Higher oxidative stress can indirectly affect fertility.

In this trial, the scientist also measured the oxidative stress experienced by these men and whether Ashwagandha supplementation helped in reducing this.

Result highlights:

  • Improvement in the levels of reproductive hormones such as Testosterone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone among infertile men.
  • The supplementation reduced oxidative stress.
  • Improved sperm count and sperm motility.

Ashwagandha supplementation provided dual benefit by improving sperm motility & count in addition to reducing the oxidative stress among these men.

Clinical Proof #3

Another study carried out by Mahdi and fellow scientists looked at the role of stress in male infertility and the use of Ashwagandha as a stress reliever.

The main aim of the scientists of this study was to see if Ashwagandha supplementation was able to enhance semen quality (and thus improve fertility) by reducing stress among men who were suffering from stress-induced infertility.

For this, the researchers selected 60 normozoospermic men (men with normal sperm count and sperm motility) who were infertile who were then divided into 3 groups.

  1. Group 1 had 20 normozoospermic heavy smokers.
  2. Group 2 had 20 normozoospermic men who were under psychological stress
  3. Group 3 had 20 normozoospermic with infertility due to unknown cause

Another group of 20 fertile men was also included in the study. This group was used as “controls” i.e. they were used as a basis for comparison with the other 3 groups.

All the men were given 5 gm/day Ashwagandha root powder or a period of 3 months. Comparison of various parameters before and after supplementation showed that:

  • Stress contributes significantly to infertility among men.
  • Ashwagandha powder supplementation (5 gm/day) is able to substantially reduce stress.
  • Treatment with Ashwagandha root powder improved overall semen quality (sperm count and sperm motility) in a many of the men in this trial.
  • Ashwagandha supplementation (5 gm/day) is able to treat stress-related infertility in these men.
  • After treatment, partners of 14% of these treated men became pregnant within the 3 month study period.

These studies provide concrete evidence for beneficial effects of Ashwagandha in improving semen parameters such as sperm count and motility and thus enhancing fertility among men.

Shilajit

Shilajit is found in several mountain ranges including the Himalayas in northern India and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine since a long time. Shilajit comprises of a variety of minerals and contains a compound called Fulvic acid in large amounts.

shilajit

Fulvic acid is believed to be the main active ingredient present in Shilajit which is responsible for a multitude of health benefits. Other names for Shilajit are Salajeet, Mumjio and Momia.

It is considered to be beneficial in various diseases such as:

  • Anemia
  • Asthma
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive Disorders
  • High Cholesterol
  • Osteoarthitis
  • Sexual Health

In addition to this, it is also known to help prevent osteoporosis. It is also a known stress reliever and is also believed to play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Research says that long term usage of this supplement is likely to increase a person’s uric acid production and in turn increase the chances of developing gout. More research is needed in this regard.

Clinical Proof #1

In 2010, Biswas and co-researchers undertook this trial to see if giving Shilajit supplementation to infertile men with low sperm count improved their sperm parameters. Processed Shilajit was given to 35 infertile men whose total sperm count was below 20 million / ml semen. Every day, 2 capsules of 100 mg each were given to these men after their meals.

The researchers checked total semenogram as well as levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone before and after treatment. Extent of oxidative stress and semen content was also measured.

Oxidative stress can be defined as the imbalance between the free radicals (which cause ageing and certain diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia) and anti-oxidants (substances in our body that curb the effect of free radicals).

improvements in human sperm with Shilajit

 

Sperm parameters such as total sperm count increased a great deal by the end of the supplementation period. Sperm count concentration and motility too increased significantly. Add to that, the Testosterone and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) improved to make this study a resounding success.

Oxidative stress among the men was much lower at the end of the trial as compared to before. Low oxidative stress means a better quality of life which indirectly contributes to healthier self and well-being. This can also be the contributing factor to a better overall sexual health.

Shilajit seems to be a good Ayurvedic treatment option for boosting sperm health in terms of count and motility and also enhances the body’s overall health by reducing oxidative stress.

D-Aspartic acid

D-Aspartic AcidD-Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid which is produced in the body of human beings It is considered a ‘non-essential’ amino acid as it is made in the body itself and we are not dependent on food sources for it.

It is also known to help in improving seminal motility in addition to being a testosterone booster. These properties make it an important supplement for enhancing male fertility.

In addition to these, other health benefits given by D-Aspartic acid supplementation are: muscle building and strength, increased energy levels, improved mental health and better heart health. D-Aspartic acid supplements are commercially available in both capsule and powder from.

Clinical Proof

In 2012, a group of scientists led by Gemma D’Aniello conducted a research study on 60 men to see if their sperm count and sperm motility improved after taking D-Aspartic acid for 90 days. It is one of the few studies done to evaluate effectiveness of D-Aspartic acid on male fertility.

The researchers involved a total of 60 men out of which

  1. Group 1 was of those 30 men who suffered from oligoasthenozoospermia (low sperm count and low sperm motility) and
  2. Group 2 consisted of 30 men with asthenozoospermia (low sperm motility)

Both these groups were given sodium D-aspartate for a period of 90 days. The sperm concentration i.e. sperm count and sperm motility of these men were measured once before and then after supplementation period to find out if there was any change in them.

The researchers also recorded the number of pregnancies with their respective partners which occurred after supplementation. This would help in knowing the improvement in fertility of these men.

Supplementation with D-Aspartate significantly increased the concentration and motility of sperms.

effect of D-Aspartate supplement on sperm count

As can be seen from the data in the graph above, there was a two fold increase in sperm count among men in Group 1 (those suffering from oligoasthenozoospermia) while the increase was 1.6 fold in case of men in Group 2 (those suffering mainly from asthenozoospermia).

effect of D-Aspartate on sperm motility

Noticeable improvement was seen in case of seminal motility in men of both groups (ref: graph above). There was 1.5 times increase in sperm motility of Group 1 while 1.8 times increase in that of Group 2 (who had more sperm motility related problems).

Also, supplementation with D-Aspartic acid led to significantly increased number of pregnancies occurring in the partners of these men.

Treatment of men suffering from either oligoasthenozoospermia or asthenozoospermia with D-Aspartic acid supplementation in the form of Sodium Aspartate improved the sperm count, sperm motility and consequently improved the pregnancy rate in the partners of these men.

L-carnitine

L-carnitine supplementation is believed to improve sperm quality in men and taking it even in absence of marked deficiency has been shown to improve sperm quality.

L-carnitine structureIt is available commercially in tablet, capsule and liquid capsule form. Recommended dosage of L-Carnitine for enhancing sexual health in men is in the range of 500 – 2000 mg of propionyl L-Carnitine once a day.

In men with erection issues is often used in combination with a 50 mg dose of Viagra which is given twice a week.

While some researches have not shown significant positive effect of oral L-carnitine supplementation on sperm motility and sperm count, many clinical trials have shown it to significantly improving seminal motility in men with low seminal motility.

Clinical Proof #1

Balercia and co-researchers did a research study in 2005 to check the effect of L-Carnitine supplementation on seminal motility. A total of 60 infertile men, 20 – 40 years old were given L-carnitine supplementation either as:

3 gm/day L- Carnitine alone OR
3 gm/day L-acetyl-carnitine OR
Combination of 2 gm/day L-carnitine + 1 gm/day L-acetyl-carnitine.

The supplementation was done for a period of 6 months. The supplementation seems to work by enhancing the oxyradical scavenging capacity thereby reducing the oxyradicals that can cause background-damage to the DNA.

Result highlights:

  • Sperm cell motility increased in patients who were given L-acetyl-carnitine either alone or in combination with L-carnitine.
  • Men who had a lower seminal motility to being with, showed more improvement in it.

L-carnitine and L-acetyl-carnitine supplementation improves seminal motility in infertile men.

Clinical Proof #2

In 2010, a group of researchers led by Moradi did a trial on 52 men with infertile men to see if giving them L-carnitine supplementation helped improve sperm parameters such as sperm count, quality and motility.

These men were put into 2 treatment groups. Each group was given the supplement for a period of 3 months.

  1. Group 1 had 20 men who were given 25 mg per day L-Carnitine
  2. Group 2 had 32 men who were given 2 gm per day Clomiphene Citrate

Clomiphene Citrate is a non-steroidal prescription medication used commonly to improve fertility and increase sperm count in men.

Both treatments had a good effect on sperm count and motility. L-carnitine was also successful in significantly boosting the semen volume. It seems a safe and helpful treatment option for dealing with male infertility.

Clinical Proof #3

In a randomized double blind clinical trial done by Lenzi and co-researchers in 2004, 56 infertile men aged 20 – 40 years were given a combination of L-carnitine and L-acetyl carnitine therapy to see if it helped in treating their oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia.

  • Oligozoospermia – low sperm counts
  • Asthenzoospermia – poor sperm motility (movement)
  • Teratozoospermia – poor sperm quality (improper shape and structure)
  • Oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia – Low Sperm Count + Low Sperm Motility + Poor Sperm Quality

The men were put into 2 different treatment groups.

  1. Group 1 was given a combined therapy of 2 gm per day L-carnitine + 1 gm per day L-acetyl-carnitine.
  2. Group 2 was given placebo.

After supplementation period, no therapy or placebo was given to any men of both groups for 2 months. This is called ‘washout period’. Washout period can be defined as a period in a clinical study during which subjects receive no treatment and the effects of a previous treatment are eliminated (or assumed to be eliminated).

After the washout period, the two groups were again given their respective treatments i.e. men in Group 1 were given the combined therapy of 2 gm per day L-carnitine + 1 gm per day L-acetyl-carnitine and the other group was given placebo for 6 months. The patients were followed up for 2 months after the completion of these 6 months.

All sperm parameters showed notable improvement after the combined therapy of L-carnitine and L-acetyl carnitine. However, the most significant increase was seen in sperm motility which plays an important role in male fertility. This increase in sperm motility was more prominent in men who had lower levels of motility at the start of the trial.

Ginger

Ginger is an herb widely used in Indian, Chinese and Middle-Eastern cookery as a spice and flavoring agent and is used in fresh, powder, juice as well as oil form. In addition to being a powerful flavoring agent, it is also known to possess medicinal properties.

Ginger is a known aphrodisiac (food, drink or other substance that enhances sexual desire) and has been used in traditional medicine to arouse sexual desire and enhance sexual activity. It is believed to increase blood circulation to the penis, thus aiding sexual performance.

It is also known to improve seminal motility, which is another factor contributing to male fertility. Here, we have discussed a research study which showed improved seminal motility as a result of ginger consumption

Clinical Proof

Mares and Najam, two scientists did a research study in 2012 on 75 infertile men (19- 40 years of age) to know if consumption of ginger led to improved fertility among them. All these men were married since at least 2 years and had no children so far. They were asked to consume ginger and semen analyses were done 2-3 times during the months during which the patients took ginger.

effect of regular ginger supplementation on human sperm

As can be seen from the above graph, ginger seems to contribute substantially towards enhancing male fertility by improving seminal parameters such as sperm count and sperm motility in infertile men. Researchers also noted an increase in sperm viability & the semen also showed a more normal sperm morphology after treatment.

Eurycoma longifolia

Eurycoma longifoliaEurycoma longifolia, also known as Tongkatali, is a popular Malaysian herb that is renowned for its ability to improve sperm motility and libido. Research suggests that the recommended dosage is 200 – 300 mg per day.

Clinical Proof

A large and thorough research study was done in 2012 by Ismail and co-researchers on the effect of Eurycoma longifolia on all secual health parameters. Part of this study consisted of testing the effect of Eurycoma longifolia on a group of 36 participants.

Results were very encouraging indeed:

Effect of Eurycoma longifolia on semen volume

As you can see from the graph above, the semen volume increased substantially(by 18.2%) in men taking the supplement. There was no significant change in the men who took placebo.

Effect of Eurycoma longifolia on sperm motility

Eurycoma longifolia supplementation also had a very significant effect(+44.4% ) on sperm motility in men whose baseline values were low to begin with. Although it has to be mentioned that there was an increase in men who took placebo too, but by a much less significant value.

Additionally, have a look at the graph above – towards the left you can see that overall when the increase in motility was averaged taking into consideration all men (normal+ low baseline), it was only marginal – but in the subgroup with deficiency, the increase was obvious and clear.

Zinc

zinc supplementZinc is known to improve sperm count in men and some scientific evidence does exist to prove these claims. The Office of Dietary Supplements from the National Institutes of Health says that zinc may be present in different forms like acetate, sulfate and gluconate in zinc supplements.

The amount of actual zinc (also known as elemental zinc) in these supplements may vary, depending on the type of zinc. If the supplement is zinc sulfate, there will be 23% of actual zinc in it. So, 220 mg of zinc sulfate will have 50 mg of actual or elemental zinc. The elemental zinc content of each supplement is mentioned on the Supplement Facts panel printed on the container’s label.

Clinical Proof

A study published in the Archives of Andrology in 1981 talks about the effect of zinc supplementation on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and sperm count. This research was conducted on 37 men who were infertile for the past 5 years or more. The men were divided into 2 groups, based on their Testosterone levels.

  1. Group 1 included 22 men whose testosterone levels were less than 4.8 ng/ml
  2. Group 2 had 15 men whose testosterone levels were 4.8 ng/ml or more

Both these groups were given oral (by mouth) zinc supplementation.

In the first group, which had lower testosterone levels, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and sperm count levels increased considerably. Out of the 22 wives whose husbands were in this group, 9 became pregnant; six within 3 months and three within 2 months.

In the second group, the testosterone levels and sperm count did not change but dihydrotestosterone levels increase a lot. None of the wives of the men in this group became pregnant.

This study is interesting indeed. It revealed a conditional effect where zinc supplementation helped improve sperm count in men who have a lower testosterone level but have no such effect on men whose testosterone levels are higher (4.8 ng/ml or more).

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