Research shows that the pregnancy vitamin E can help to alleviate oxidative stress to better support healthy fertility in men and women.
The group of vitamin Es is amongst the most powerful antioxidants. These lipid-soluble compounds protect cellular membranes from free radical damage. This helps to support the immune system and protects the precious DNA throughout the body, including inside sperm cells.
Vitamin E is involved in enzymatic activities, neurological functions, and gene expression and is equally beneficial to male and female fertility.
Clinical Study: Boosting sperm motility with vitamin E
In a study investigating asthenospermia (poor sperm motility), researchers wanted to determine if vitamin E could improve motility1. A total of 87 men with asthenopermia participated in the study. A placebo was given to 35 males and 100 mg of vitamin E was administered to 52 males. The study duration was six months.
The study found that
- Patients that received vitamin E supplements showed a reduction in sperm lipid peroxidation, or oxidative damage to sperm from free radicals. Lipid peroxidation is thought to be directly linked to the decline of sperm motility and respiratory activity2. These patients therefore also demonstrated improved sperm motility.
- The spouses of 11 patients (21%) receiving vitamin E supplements conceived during the study. This resulted in nine normal term deliveries and two miscarriages within the first trimester. The spouses of placebo-treated patients did not conceive during the study period.
This study suggests that vitamin E supplementation can help to improve sperm health and motility. This antioxidant reduces oxidative stress to better protect sperm structural integrity. Men suffering from asthenospermia may be able to improve sperm quality through vitamin E supplementation.
Clinical Study: Female fertility and vitamin E
Female fertility can also be enhanced through vitamin E supplementation. A study published in 2012 investigated the effect of vitamin E on women undergoing procedures of controlled ovarian stimulation and IUI (intrauterine insemination)3. A total of 103 women participated in the research.
All the women in the study received clomiphene citrate, a drug that induces ovulation through stimulating the release of hormones. In addition, 53 of the patients received 400 IU/day vitamin E. The remaining 50 patients didn’t receive vitamin supplementation.
The study found that
- There was a significant difference in the thickness of the endometrium between the two groups.
- Women who received vitamin E had a healthier endometrial response compared with those that didn’t receive the vitamin.
Researchers concluded that vitamin E administration may help women with unexplained infertility to improve endometrial response. This is believed to be a result of the antioxidant and anticoagulant properties of the vitamin. It’s possible that ovulation decline may be reduced by increasing vitamin E intake.
Boosting the availability of this vitamin may also enhance the success rate of assisted fertility treatments. Vitamin E is necessary for the production of cervical mucus and placenta maintenance. This may help to decrease the risk of birth defects and miscarriage through better supporting foetal development.
Top vitamin E foods
Good vitamin E sources include leafy greens, avocado, broccoli, asparagus, pumpkin, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, olive oil, and shellfish.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. With reproductive processes susceptible to oxidative stress, this vitamin can help to safeguard fertility in both women and men.
Using vitamin E to improve male fertility
Vitamin E is a powerful male fertility enhancing nutrient for men and women, but it is also just one of more than a dozen fertility-enhancing nutrients. Clinical research studies have consistently shown that
We have therefore compared all of the top male fertility combination supplements in a transparent, side-by-side evaluation.
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Sperm-enhancing male fertility nutrients
- “Suleiman, S. et.al. (1996). Lipid peroxidation and human sperm motility: protective role of vitamin E. Journal of Andrology, Volume 17, Issue 5, (pp. 530-7).” ↩
- “http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/76145?” ↩
- “Cicek, N. et.al. (2012). Vitamin E effect on controlled ovarian stimulation of unexplained infertile women. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. Volume 29, Issue 4, (pp. 325-8).” ↩
- “http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/14/3/243.full” ↩
- “Imhof, Martin et al., “Improvement of sperm quality after micronutritient supplementation” ↩