A study was conducted in the USA in 1996 to investigate the influence of the male partner’s lifestyle specifically his eating and social habits on his semen quality. Also measured was the impact on the male lifestyle on the success chances on the artificial fertilisation treatment intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)1.
The study tracked 250 men undergoing ICSI cycles and recorded the frequency of food item consumption and social habits on a scale with five categories ranging from no consumption to repeated daily consumption.
The study found that
- Sperm concentration was negatively influenced by body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption. Conversely, it was positively influenced by cereal consumption and the number of small meals per day.
- The sperm motility was negatively influenced by BMI, alcohol consumption, and smoking habits, whereas it was positively influenced by the consumption of fruits and cereals.
- The consumption of alcohol had a negative influence on the fertilisation rate.
- The consumption of red meat as well as being on a weight loss diet had a negative impact on the implantation rate and therefore pregnancy chance.
The study showed that BMI is a significant indicator of male fertility. It is a very limited and much debated measure of body fat, because it simply looks at the relationship between weight and height and does not take into account body type and “composition”.
Nevertheless, it is a good statistical indicator of health. Individuals with lower BMIs tend to live healthier, smoke less and drink less alcohol. Perhaps worse however, the individuals, who undertook a weight loss diet in an effort to improve their health, ended up having poorer quality sperm due to a lack of nutrients. High quality sperm requires a number of nutrients as building blocks over a minimum period of three months.
The study therefore demonstrated clearly that a healthy diet and a normal BMI is beneficial to sperm quality
Cereal and fruits further increase the rate of treatment success
Those couples, who regularly consumed wholegrain cereal, which is lower in salt and sugar and combined it with fruit were seen to have higher success rates. Consuming a larger amount of fibre in the diet is generally associated with a healthier digestive system and better allround heath2.
Couples seeking to conceive must be advised about the drastic effect of both the male and female lifestyle both on their chances to conceive naturally as well as assisted reproduction treatments success. The ideal fertility lifestyle should include plenty of regular exercise and sleep, little or no alcohol, no cigarettes, exclusively unprocessed foods and a focus on male fertility nutrients to maximise sperm quality. More than a dozen standard vitamins, amino acids and trace minerals have been proven effective in improving overall sperm quality.
Single or multi-nutrients for male fertility?
Every chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Whether a man is affected by low sperm count, poor motility or general poor sperm quality, it is most effective to take a several fertility nutrients at once in a combination product to make sure all sperm parameters and therefore the overall Total Motile Spermatozoa (TMS) count is maximised. TMS is the product of sperm count, motility and sperm volume and measures how many million sperm cells are motile in an entire ejaculate.
Fertility specialists therefore recommend that men should take a combination product, which includes several fertility nutrients. The nutrients are all affordable, well-tolerated and proven to be highly complimentary in their effectiveness improving multiple sperm parameters simultaneously.
Increasing nutrient intake to boost male fertility
With the effects of nutrients on male fertility well established, men wanting to start a family need to pay close attention to their diet.
Although the body can produce some amino acids such as glutathione, arginine, and carnitine, there is still a dietary requirement to sustain healthy levels. Trace elements, vitamins and minerals all need to be obtained through diet.
Although a balanced diet enriched with unprocessed foods can help to sustain the availability of nutrients necessary for healthy fertility, there can be limitations. For example, during periods of illness or prolonged stress, the body’s nutritional demands increase.
This can lead to a reduction in fertility. Lifestyle factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, insufficient sleep, excessive weight gain, and inactivity can all negativity affect fertility.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure that the body has sufficient access to nutrients to support fertility is with supplements. There is a range of natural supplements that have been formulated with nutrients important for male fertility.
Men wanting to start a family are strongly encouraged to consider a dietary supplement to ensure that any fertility issues due to nutrient deficiencies are addressed. This is an effective, affordable, proven and convenient way to support male fertility – especially when considering the high costs and uncertain probabilities of fertility treatment such as IVF and ISCI.
Together with positive lifestyle adjustments, supplements can significantly help to improve conception rates.