Trying for a baby? Read on for important news about the first supplement ever shown to increase high quality sperm by almost 50 per cent.
Not being able to conceive a child is frustrating and stressful. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life, that despite being keen to father a child, some men have great difficulty in doing so. One in six couples have a problem getting pregnant. In every case, there is a 50:50 chance that the source of the infertility lies with the man.
Causes of Male Infertility
Causes of male infertility – which is defined as being unsuccessful attempts to conceive after a year of having unprotected sex with a partner – can vary. A diagnosis of chlamydia or other reproductive-tract infection may have left scar tissue blocking the movement of sperm. Or, a man may have a low sperm count caused by inadequate levels of testosterone, the hormone which triggers the testes to make sperm.
A low sperm count can be due to a range of causes, including some prescription drugs and environmental chemicals. These can alter sperm motility (activity) making conception difficult. Sperm is fragile and can be easily damaged by naturally-occurring chemicals called free radicals. Numerous factors affect levels of both free radicals and testosterone, including alcohol, smoking, poor nutrition and stress.
The results of The Study
For couples struggling to have a baby, a new research breakthrough offers hope. The randomised, placebo-controlled study of 60 healthy men, aged from 19 to 30 years of age, was conducted at the University of Sheffield Medical School, England. Results of sperm and blood samples analysed at the beginning and end of this study demonstrate that those men taking a dietary supplement containing lactolycopene, a compound derived from cooked tomatoes, over a period of just 12 weeks, showed a dramatic increase of almost 50 percent in the number of “Class A” sperm in their samples. These are the fast-swimming, correctly shaped sperm which are the baby-making sperm. Improvements to sperm size, quality, motility and shape in those men who took the lactolycopene supplement were also noted.
Excessive amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) cause oxidative stress in the body, which results in sperm membrane lipid peroxidation, DNA damage and apoptosis (death of sperm cells), leading to decreased sperm viability and motility. Research has already shown that the antioxidant lycopene, a natural pigment that gives many vegetables and fruit (including tomatoes) their red colour, improves prostate and cardiovascular functions and is a possible treatment option for male infertility. Thanks to its ability to neutralise free radicals and, therefore, counter this oxidative stress. However, lycopene’s molecular structure also means that it is difficult to absorb, so the success of this particular trial is thought to be due to an improved uptake of lycopene as a result of it being combined with whey protein, as lactolycopene.
“I nearly fell off my chair”
“I wasn’t expecting to see any benefit at all,” says study leader Professor Allan Pacey, a male fertility expert and Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield. “When we decoded the results, I nearly fell off my chair.”
The findings, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, have been welcomed by specialists around the world. Concerns about the damaging impact of modern living on reproductive health have been put to rest. Andrew Drakeley, a consultant in reproductive medicine at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, England, concludes: “Unlike women who are born with their lifetime reserve of eggs, men make new sperm every 60 to 90 days. These results are probably robust enough to conclude that taking lactolycopene is one thing men can do to improve their sperm quality, along with better diet and more exercise.”
Where can you find the Supplement?
The Tomato Pill Company supplies Go Vita health shops with the lactolycopene-containing products. Look for a formula which also contains other ingredients shown to support and improve fertility, such as folic acid, selenium and vitamins B1, B6 and B12.
- Taken together, the antioxidant vitamins C and E and carotenoids are a powerful combination to sweep up cell-damaging free radicals and protect sperm. Vitamin C also increases sperm motility.
- Men may also benefit from zinc and flaxseed oil. Zinc plays a vital role in male reproductive ability by increasing testosterone production and sperm count. Flaxseed oil provides essential fatty acids that among other functions, help to keep sperm healthy. A natural health practitioner may suggest arginine, an amino acid which can enhance sperm motility and possibly help increase sperm count. Arginine is contraindicated in certain health conditions, such as asthma, so seek professional advice.
- The herb ginseng (either as Panax ginseng or Siberian ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus) has been traditionally used to boost testosterone production and sperm formation. Other beneficial herbs include ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), oats (Avena sativa) and red raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus).
- Avoid alcohol. If you smoke, stop. Try yoga, meditation and other stress-reduction techniques. Keep weight within a healthy range for your height and build.