Though fertility is often framed as a women’s health issue, men play just as important of a role. And a man’s diet and nutritional supplements can majorly impact pregnancy outcomes.
Unlike prenatal vitamins for women, men’s vitamins contain methylated folate (Vitamin B9), a bioavailable and more easily metabolized form. Folate has been shown to impact sperm count, motility and quality positively.
Increased Sperm Count
Many men pop a daily multivitamin, and that’s fine — but when you want to get pregnant, it’s time to step up your game. The quantity and quality of a man’s sperm play a big role in conception.
Fortunately, dietary changes can help, particularly if you start early. Since sperm needs time to mature, it’s best to start taking the best preconception vitamins for men three months before you try to conceive.
Look for a supplement that contains ingredients like L-carnitine, selenium and vitamin C, which are all known to increase sperm count and improve motility and sperm morphology. Research also suggests that vitamin E, an antioxidant, can reduce oxidative stress, contributing to infertility. You can find vitamin E in apricots, avocados, dry apricots, peanuts, greens, whole grains, and supplemental forms.
Other important nutrients to consider are omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for good sperm health, and zinc, which is associated with higher sperm concentration and motility. To optimize fertility, the best male preconception supplements will contain these key nutrients in a scientifically proven ratio. Ensure your supplement is third-party tested and manufactured in a clean, GMP facility for maximum safety and effectiveness.
Increased Sperm Motility
The sperm reaching an egg must be mobile to fuse with and penetrate the oocyte. The number and quality of healthy sperm is determined by a man’s sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology (how they’re shaped). Men can boost their sperm health by increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin C and zinc, which have been shown to help increase sperm motility.
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids, are essential components of the membranes of sperm cells and can positively impact sperm health. You can get them through your diet, especially by eating fatty foods like salmon, tuna, chia seed, walnuts and vegetable oils.
Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid. It’s an essential nutrient, especially for preconception. It is naturally produced in the body and is available in foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, seafood and dairy. It is also added to many grain products and some breakfast cereals.
A recent study demonstrated that supplementing with vitamin C, methylated folate and selenium enhanced sperm motility in infertile men. This is likely due to the antioxidant protection against oxidative stress during sperm production, which can lead to aneuploidy formation in sperm cells.
Increased Sperm Quality
Many men with fertility problems have low sperm quality, often resulting from a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Supplementing with certain nutrients has been shown to improve sperm quality and increase sperm motility.
Studies show that folic acid can help with fertility by improving sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. It also protects sperm from DNA damage, which can occur with age. In one study by Gerco et al., two months of treatment with 1 gr of vitamin E and 1 gr of vitamin C significantly reduced the level of oxidative stress of infertile men. They improved ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) and ICSI (in vitro fertilization) success rates (p0.001).
Vitamin C also reduces oxidative stress on sperm and increases sperm quality by promoting cellular repair. It is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory found in many fruits and vegetables like oranges, berries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is known to boost immunity and support the immune system.
Another important nutrient for male fertility is zinc, which helps with sperm motility and sperm morphology. Zinc deficiency is common in some men and can contribute to fertility issues. Dietary intake of vitamins C, E, and selenium has been shown to improve fertility in those with low zinc levels. Beli’s formula contains all three essential nutrients and uses methylated folate, easily absorbed by the body.
Increased Sperm Receptivity
The ability of sperm to swim well and get through the reproductive tract is critical for conception. Diets high in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats from whole foods may improve sperm motility, count, and shape. Men’s sperm quality can be affected both by environmental and dietary factors, such as smoking or excessive alcohol intake. A high-quality multivitamin for men may be beneficial, formulated specifically for male fertility.
Coenzyme Q10 is one of the nutrients that are known to help improve sperm quality. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and selenium also play a role. Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant, helps protect sperm membranes from damage. Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties, and in some studies, it was shown to increase the motility of sperm. Vitamin E is another antioxidant that can improve sperm quality, especially in those with low testosterone levels. One survey by Gerco et al. found that two months of supplementation with 1gr of Vitamin E and Vitamin C significantly reduced oxidative stress in their subjects, improving sperm concentration and motility.