Research shows that vitamin A supports sperm development
Vitamin A is a collection of unsaturated organic compounds with important benefits for the body. This group includes retinol, retinoic acid, retinal, and various provitamin A carotenoids, such as beta-carotene.
Vitamin A is required for good vision, immune function, and physical growth and development. For men, these compounds are also needed to maintain normal spermatogenesis.
Clinical Study: The importance of vitamin A for sperm cell production
Vitamin A plays a major role in nuclear receptor signalling pathways, activating genes in the body. In 2011, Zhou and colleagues published research into the relationship between vitamin A and testicular receptors 2 and 4“Zhou, X. et.al. (2011). The orphan nuclear receptor TR4 is a vitamin A activated nuclear receptor. Journal of Biological Chemistry, Volume 286, Issue 4, (pp. 2877-85).”. These are a subgroup of orphan nuclear receptors.
They are classed as “orphan” because there is limited knowledge regarding their function or binding substances.
In the case of testicular receptors 2 and 4, they are believed to be involved in spermatogenesis. These receptors are also important for the development of the central nervous system, lipoprotein and lipid regulation, and the management of haemoglobin production.
Through a series of molecular analysis, Zhou and colleagues were able to confirm the importance of vitamin A in the regulation of testicular receptors 2 and 4.
The study showed:
- TR4 is a ligand-regulated nuclear receptor reliant on vitamin A (retinol).
- Vitamin A plays an essential role in human physiology
This study demonstrates that vitamin A is important for the production of sperm. Without this vitamin, the testes are unable to receive the signal to commence and maintain spermatogenesis. Further replica studies are necessary to confirm these findings.
Good vitamin A sources
Vitamin A is found in many foods. Some good sources include cod liver oil, liver, sweet potatoe, carrot, broccoli, butter, kale, spinach, eggs, cheese, papaya, mango, apricots, tomatoes, milk and pumpkin.
Generally speaking, animal derived foods usually provide best best direct source of vitamin A. In contrast, plant-based foods provide the building-blocks (carotenoids), which the body easily metabolises into vitamin A.
Although further research is necessary, initial studies suggest that vitamin A may be critical for sperm cell production. Maintaining a healthy intake of this vitamin may help to improve male fertility.
Using vitamin A to enhance sperm DNA
Vitamin A is a powerful male fertility enhancing nutrient, but it is also just one of several so called fertility-nutraceuticals. While it positively affects sperm production, it does not protect the overall sperm cell from oxidative damage, provide structural material or energy for movement.
Clinical research studies have consistently shown that
We have therefore compared 18 male fertility combination supplements in a transparent, side-by-side evaluation.
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|↑1||“Zhou, X. et.al. (2011). The orphan nuclear receptor TR4 is a vitamin A activated nuclear receptor. Journal of Biological Chemistry, Volume 286, Issue 4, (pp. 2877-85).”|
|↑3||”Imhof, Martin et al., “Improvement of sperm quality after micronutritient supplementation”|