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Vitamins for a Low Sperm Count
If you are having trouble conceiving then fertility tests are likely to be high on your list of priorities. One such test is the sperm count test. This test measures the amount of sperm in a unit volume of semen. Usually, there are 20 million to 150 million of sperm per milliliter. A sperm count lower that this indicates that a man maybe suffering from fertility problems.
In the last few years there has been a drop in male fertility. It would seem that sperm are sensitive to their surroundings; a-less-than healthy environment can affect the quality and amount of sperm produced. Some of the suspected causes for low sperm count are dietary inadequacy, stress(http://www.mitamins.com/disease/Stress.html), the use of drugs, medication, smoking, pesticides in foods and obesity. There is even some indication that frequent trips to the sauna and long hot baths are detrimental, as sperm are sensitive to temperature.
With increasing availability of processed and refined foods there is a trend toward consuming a less than nutritionally adequate diet with vitamins, antioxidants, essential fats falling short of what is required for healthy and plentiful sperm. The first step in the treatment of low sperm count should be a diet make over.
Antioxidants including Vitamin C, Beta Carotene and Vitamin E are essential to improving sperm count. They are powerful antioxidants and protect the sperm from oxidative damage and contribute towards increased concentration and sperm motility. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruit and berries. Orange and dark green vegetables such as pumpkins, carrots broccoli and kale are great sources of Beta Carotene. Vitamin E is found in nuts such as walnuts and almonds, and vegetable oils such as sunflower and safflower.
Men that smoke are particularly vulnerable to antioxidant depletion. In addition to ensuring adequate dietary or supplemental amounts, it would be most important to stop smoking. Benefit from a supplement of this vitamin. Sometimes sperm clumps together - a condition known as agglutination. Vitamin C helps in reducing sperm agglutination, the recommended dose being 1 gram a day.
Essential fatty acids are critical in hormone functioning. Prostaglandins which are abundant in healthy semen are produced from essential fats. Poor sperm quality, poor motility or low count, could be indicative of low levels of prostaglandins. Essential fatty acids are richly abundant in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, pilchards and herring. Try to include 2-3 portions per week - fresh, frozen or tinned are equally as good!
Zinc supplementation has been used to overcome some forms of both female and male infertility in those who are zinc deficient. Zinc is an essential mineral for the healthy formation and maturation of sperm. A regular zinc supplement would help in raising testosterone levels. A study has also shown that zinc helps in protecting the structure of the genetic material or the DNA chromatin in the sperm nucleus. This structure is important for successful fertilization. Doctors of natural medicine usually recommend 25 mg three times per day. Dietary sources of zinc include pumpkins seeds, shell fish especially oysters and red meat.
Amino acids are essential for sperm production. There has been some research into supplementation with L-Arginine, an amino acid in the treatment of low sperm count. These studies have indicated that it can increase sperm count and motility when administered in large quantities - around 4 g per day.
Asian ginseng has a large market all over the world when it comes to male infertility. The research indicates that Asian Ginseng can help with premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, so if these issues are pertinent to you then supplementation may be something to consider in the treatment of low sperm count.
For men who want to improve their fertility, it is important to make some fundamental changes regarding their lifestyle and diet. Reduction or ideally elimination of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, more attention to the nutritional quality of your food and lower stress levels will go a long way towards improving fertility. Furthermore you’ll be setting the standard for healthy living for the next generation of your family!
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