Infertility is a growing problem worldwide.
It affects about one in every six couples, and researchers estimate about one in every three cases is due to fertility problems in the male partner alone. While infertility is not always treatable, it can sometimes be improved with a healthy diet, supplements and other lifestyle strategies.
This article lists some of the main lifestyle factors, foods, nutrients and supplements that have been associated with improved fertility in men;
What Is Male Infertility?
Fertility refers to people’s ability to reproduce by natural means. Male infertility is when a man has a poor chance of making his female partner pregnant. It usually depends on the quality of his sperm cells.
The following aspects of sexual function and semen quality may affect fertility:
Libido: Otherwise known as sex drive, libido describes a person’s desire to have sex. Foods or supplements that claim to increase libido are called aphrodisiacs.
Erectile dysfunction: Also known as impotence, erectile dysfunction is when a man is unable to develop or maintain an erection.
Sperm count: An important aspect of semen quality is the number or concentration of sperm cells in a given amount of semen.
Sperm motility: An essential function of healthy sperm cells is their ability to swim. Sperm motility is measured as the percentage of moving sperm cells in a sample of semen.
Testosterone levels: Low levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone, may be responsible for infertility in some men.
Infertility can have multiple causes and may depend on genetics, general health, fitness, diseases and dietary contaminants.
Additionally, a healthy lifestyle and diet are important. Some foods and nutrients are associated with greater fertility benefits than others.
Here are 10 science-backed ways to boost sperm count and increase fertility in men:
- Take D-Aspartic Acid Supplements
D-aspartic acid (D-AA) is a form of aspartic acid, a type of amino acid that’s sold as a dietary supplement.
It should not be confused with L-aspartic acid, which makes up the structure of many proteins and is far more common than D-AA.
D-AA is mainly present in certain glands, such as the testicles, as well as in semen and sperm cells.
Researchers believe that D-AA is implicated in male fertility. In fact, D-AA levels are significantly lower in infertile men than fertile men.
This is supported by studies showing that D-AA supplements may increase levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone that plays an essential role in male fertility.
For instance, an observational study in infertile men suggested that taking 2.66 grams of D-AA for three months increased their testosterone levels by 30–60% and sperm count and motility by 60–100%.
The number of pregnancies also increased among their partners.
Additionally, a controlled study in healthy men showed that taking 3 grams of D-AA supplements daily for two weeks increased testosterone levels by 42%.
However, the evidence is not entirely consistent. Studies in athletes or strength-trained men with normal to high testosterone levels found that D-AA didn’t increase its levels further and even reduced them at high doses.
Taken together, the current evidence indicates that D-AA supplements may improve fertility in men with low testosterone levels, while they don’t consistently provide additional benefits in men with normal to high levels.
Further studies need to investigate the potential long-term risks and benefits of D-AA supplements in humans.
D-aspartic acid (D-AA) supplements may improve testosterone levels and fertility in infertile men or those with low testosterone levels. However, scientists haven’t reached a definite conclusion at this point.