It’s a fact that women live longer than men, but this week is not about our health it’s about men’s with International Men’s Health Awareness Week. In light of this we spoke with Steve Eddey, Principal of Health Schools Australia who tells us why it might be reasonable to suggest, include or interfere with our partner’s nutrition for optimal fertility.
When it comes to baby making, it takes two to tango! Often women take control of their health when trying for a baby. This may include a nutrition make over and inclusion of a range of key supplements such as iron, iodine and folic acid. However, it’s not just the health profile of the female’s egg which will promote conception; the man’s sperm similarly need to be strong swimmers for success in the fertility race.
Statistics reveal that one in six couples in Australia and New Zealand suffers from infertility and about eight per cent of men seek help for this . More than a third of men aged over 40 years report having one or more reproductive health problems, all being more common amongst older men.
If your partner is less proactive about their sperm health, there are a few dietary and lifestyle measures you can take to ensure their swimmers are ready to race. Steve recommends the following tips to improve the health of male sperm:
Within the context of this article this suggestion may be inappropriate but I am suggesting, Brazil nuts! Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium which is vital for normal sperm production. This is an easy one to include in his diet and consuming at least two a day can help achieve the recommended daily intake to help improve the quality of sperm.
ANTIOXIDANT - UBIQUINOL
Published in the Journal of Urology, a study involving 228 men with unexplained sperm problems contributing to infertility (including poor sperm numbers, low movement and abnormally shaped sperm) were treated in a double blind, placebo controlled, randomised study using the supplement, Ubiquinol. Results showed that Ubiquinol significantly improved sperm count in more than 62 per cent of men, the number of mobile sperm also increased significantly in 57 per cent of participants and the percentage of normally shaped sperm also improved in 52 per cent of men who took Ubiquinol as compared to placebo. Although Ubiquinol is found in foods such as sardines, spinach, peanuts and chicken; you would need to consume a sufficient amount to receive the minimum daily intake.
Not just found in orange juice but in a range of foods including, broccoli, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, cabbage and kale; Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant found in the testes. Vitamin C has been shown to help improve sperm motility. This is important for sperm that clump together and have difficulty swimming .
We know how important folic acid is for women trying to conceive but it is equally important for men to support sperm development and maturation. According to research published in Human Reproduction, a significant relationship between daily folate intake and lower frequencies of sperm aneuploidy (abnormal number of chromosomes) were found. Folate can be found in a number of foods such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach, bananas, strawberries, chickpeas and lentils. Folic acid can also be taken via supplementation.
Surely your partner can’t get upset with you for wanting to instigate more sex. It is said that daily sex for a week can improve the genetic quality of sperm. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association research found that men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month experienced better outcomes in terms of prostate health later in life in comparison to men who ejaculated less. So not only is sex beneficial for baby making but is important for male health for years to come.
About Stephen Eddey
Stephen Eddey is a qualified Nutritionist and Naturopath and is the Principal of Australia’s longest established natural medicine college, Health Schools Australia. He has completed a Bachelor of Complementary Medicine as well as a Masters in Health Science.
Blackmores Conceive Well Men™
Male fertility support
Blackmores Conceive Well Men™ is scientifically formulated, providing an advanced combination of key nutrients to support sperm health including the active form of CoQ10 Ubiquinol.
Co-enzyme Q10 and Ubiquinol are present at high levels in sperm, protect sperm cells from damage and play a role in sperm cell energy production and motility.
Ubiquinol is an antioxidant, the active form of co-enzyme Q10
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital and Health Statistics, Series 23, No. 26.
 Safarinejad, M et al, 2012, Journal of Urology, ‘Effects of the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) on semen parameters in men with idiopathic infertility: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study’, 188(2):526-31 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22704112
 Akmal M1, Qadri JQ, Al-Waili NS, Thangal S, Haq A, Saloom KY, 2006, Improvement in human semen quality after oral supplementation of vitamin C, J Med Food, Fall;9(3):440-2.