I got caught up with writing on my other blog about my trip to India. If you want to read there you can go to http://onindiangrounds.blogspot.com/
I didn't forget about my passion for helping couples conceive, though!
I was reading a book this past week called "Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth" by Zita West. I came across some more information on male fertility that I wanted to share. I am always looking for more to help the men. There is a wealth of information about female infertility but very little about male. And yet babies cannot be made without the husbands.
What I found was a list of nutrients that have been shown to improve male fertility.
This is taken directly from the book.
- Vitamin C: supplementation of this can increase both sperm count and sperm motility, and may decrease the risk of sperm damage. It is particularly important for people who do not eat ample amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. The body cannot store viatmin C, which is why excess amounst are not a problem: the body simply excretes what it does not use. Very large amounts of vitamin C, however may cause loose stools in some people, in which case the amount should be reduced until bowl tolerance is reached.
- Vitamin E: deficiency of this viatmin can cause damage to the reproductive tissues. Recent research showed a significant increase in both sperm motility and count with supplementation of organic selenium and vitamin E (Bleau et al 2006). Supplementation is important for this reason, and because it is difficult to get large enough amounts from dietary sources alone.
- Zinc: this is needed to make the outer layer and tail for the sperm and therefore is essential for healthy sperm. Deficiency can cause late sexual maturation, small sex organs, impotence and infertility. Zinc is generally found in high concentrations in male sex glands but if the diet is zinc deficient then concentrations fall radically. Zinc is also lost with each ejaculation, so an active sex life and a low zinc diet will put the male at risk.
- Manganese: this has been shown by research to be important for maintaining a high sperm count.
- Potassium: this has been shown to increase sperm motility.
- The trace element selenium and the amino acids arginine and lysine are also beneficial.
As a general rule, over all optimum nutrition is more beneficial than taking individual supplements, but where it is difficult to guarantee adequate quantities of the right sorts of food then supplementation is advisable.
With the information above taken from the book "Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth" I did a google search to see if I could find the best food sources of the above mentioned vitamins. And this is what I have found so far.
- Vitamin C: citrus fruits, melon, strawberries, black currants, green and red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, kiwi fruit, dark green leafy vegetables, squash, mango, papaya, cauliflower, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, celery
- Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter, vegetable oils
- Zinc: red meat, seafood, milk and egg yolks
- Manganese: nuts, beans and other legumes, tea, whole grains
- Potassium: sweet potatoes, bananas, yogurt, yellow fin tuna
- Selenium: brazil nuts are the highest source. However they should be eaten in moderation as too much selenium is not good either. Other sources are whole grains, legumes, nuts, meat and fish.
- Arginine: The following information was taken from http://primev.com/free-arginine-report.aspx "Dietary arginine is found in chocolate, wheat germ and flour, buckwheat, granola, oatmeal, dairy products (cottage cheese, ricotta, nonfat dry milk, skim yogurt), beef (roasts, steaks), pork (Canadian bacon, ham), nuts (coconut, pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazel nuts, peanuts), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), poultry (chicken and turkey light meat), wild game (pheasant, quail), seafood (halibut, lobster, salmon, shrimp, snails, tuna in water), chick peas, and cooked soybeans."