Eating well to support male fertility
Infertility is often thought of as a woman’s problem, so it may surprise you that in up to 50% of cases where couples are having difficulty conceiving, the male sperm is part of the problem. The good news is that improving sperm can be as simple as changing your diet and improving your nutritional intake. This simple step alone can make a substantial difference in male fertility.
A healthy diet geared specifically for male fertility is important for many reasons:
Promotes Sperm Health – Sperm are delivery trucks for your DNA. Unfortunately, sperm are very susceptible to damage, but if you provide the correct nutrients in adequate amounts, damage can be minimized and even repaired.
Supports Healthy DNA – If sperm are the delivery trucks, the DNA is the precious payload. Half of your child’s DNA comes from you, the father, so let’s make it the sturdiest DNA we can. The DNA that is passed on to the child is influenced by the father’s diet. A healthy diet not only reduces the risk of passing on genetic or epigenetic diseases, but it can also lead to stronger, more resilient children.
Encourages and Supports Healthy Libido – A healthy diet balances male hormones and minimizes other barriers to conception.
There are many nutrients that support a healthy male fertility diet. A few of the most important ones are:
Vitamin B9 (folate) – We know that healthy folate levels in mothers can decrease the risk of spinal tube defects and miscarriages but a father’s folate levels has just as important role in the health and development of the baby. Vitamin B9 can be found in high amounts in green leafy vegetables.
Carnitine – Sperm requires a tremendous amount of energy to be able to travel the long distances required to meet the egg. Carnitine is an amino acid that helps the body convert fat into energy. It also helps improve the quality and quantity of sperm production. Carnitine can be found in beef, pork, cod and chicken.
Omega 3 – Healthy cells (including healthy sperm) are dependent on high Omega 3 intake. Aside from good fish intake, consider adding a high-grade Omega 3 supplement to your diet.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D deficiency is very common in this part of the world and has negative impacts on health including hormone imbalance, decreased immune function and lowered fertility. If getting outside for your daily dose of sunshine is difficult, a supplement can boost your levels easily.
Sperm production takes approximately 3 months. Committing to at least 3 months of a diet focused on male fertility can help improve your chances of conceiving and having a healthy child. Ask us how you can improve your fertility in other ways!
~ Dr. Patti