Infertility has many causes, some mechanical and others which may be due to metabolic or hormonal reasons. Nutritional imbalances can affect the chances of conceiving and therefore need to be addressed in order to give the greatest possible likelihood.
Possible vitamin imbalances include:
–Vitamin C-when a man’s body is deficient in vitamin C, ‘agglurination’ results, in which the sperm clumps together, and so cannot move as fast as is necessary. Sperm motility and count are, however, increased if men supplement their vitamin C intake with an additional 1,000 mg of the vitamin. It is also helpful in neutralising harmful chemicals from cigarette smoke that affect sperm.
Zinc-testosterone production in the body is reduced if zinc levels are too low. This in turn reduces fertility. Sperm count and motility are also decreased. Increasing the daily intake of zinc by 15 mg normalizes any ill effects. Excessive zinc ingestion, though, can be toxic so medical supervision is necessary, together with blood tests and sperm tests to monitor results. Foods containing good sources of zinc include red meat, seafoods, and whole grains.
Other Nutrients-a balanced diet is also necessary to ensure adequate levels of other nutrients such as iron, the B-group vitamins, Vitamin E (400-800 iu/day), and magnesium. A multi-vitamin supplement may be beneficial in maintaining these at the required levels.
Too much fat in the diet can not only clog the arteries to a man’s heart but also those to his penis! This therefore affects the ability to maintain erections, and thus reduces fertility.
Also, body fat affects hormone levels. For example, underweight women may have too little oestrogen and those who are overweight produce too much to get pregnant. Similarly, heavy men have low levels of testosterone and high levels of oestrogen.