Diet Infertility

In men, poor nutrition - a diet high in refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, and processed foods and low in important micronutrients -may reduce sperm number and motility. To help increase sperm quality, the diet should emphasize high-quality protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Heavy alcohol consumption (more than 3 "drinks" per day) can impair fertility.6 Overweight men are more likely to have low testosterone levels and lower numbers of sperm.

Nutrient

Suggested daily dose

Comments

Multimineral

Balanced for

Deficiencies of

supplement

mula containing

iron orzinc may

10-20 mg zinc

impairfertili-

and 10 mg iron

ty4,5

Vitamin B

Balanced sup

Deficiencies of

Complex

plement con

folate and vit-

taining 0.4-0.8

amin B12 may

mg folic acid

impair fertility

and 2.5 ^g vit

amin B12

Change in score after treatment

Energy Pain Emotional

Nottingham health profile category

Sleep (NS)

Fig. 5.34: Dietary ascorbic acid intake and oxidative damage to DNA in semen. Ascorbic acid is present in high concentrations in seminal fluid and may play a role in protecting sperm from oxidative damage. Depletion of seminal ascorbic acid in male volunteers on a control diet significantly increased sperm cell 8-OH-deoxygua-nosine levels, a marker of oxidative damage to DNA. (Adapted from Fraga CG, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1991;88:11003)

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