There is a wealth of information about how natural treatments can help women to conceive and have healthy babies. However, the male side of the equation receives much less attention. The good news is that there is clinical evidence that a number of herbs can help to improve fertility in men.
There are many factors involved in the production of healthy sperm and by addressing and supporting these, male fertility can also be improved.
Interesting note: it takes three months for sperm to develop. Keep this in mind when deciding to start a family as you will need to support your system for at least three months if you are seeking to father a healthy baby.
Arrange a health check and consultation by calling True Medicine today – 07 – 5530 1863.
Male Infertility – a growing concern
It is currently estimated that around 1 in 6 Australian couples will have difficulty conceiving; in 25% of those couples, the cause lies with the male.
A recent paper (Celino, 2011) explains how sperm stem cells (spermatagonia) are well-protected by the antioxidant enzyme Superoxide dismutase (SOD) but as the sperm cell matures, this protection declines, leaving the sperm prone to oxidative damage.
Such damage may impair the sperm’s energy production pathways, disable other functions and damage its DNA. The resulting low sperm count and/or quality impairs fertility and increases the risk of passing on genetic defects.
Why is male infertility increasing?
Experts such as Prof. Peter Koopman at the University of Queensland say, “Since the 1970s, we have seen a huge increase in prevalence of male infertility and testicular cancer; this increase is directly attributable to environmental factors such as pollutants, cigarette smoke and exposure to chemicals”.
How best to deal with these environmentally-destructive effects on sperm
Because the sperm cell is reliant on SOD to protect it as it matures, it seems logical to adopt a Nutrigenomic strategy to support the body’s own cellular defences. The power of SOD is such that it can quench 4-6 million damaging free radical species per minute! Compare this with the effect of ‘antioxidants’ such as vitamin C and E and polyphenols (eg grape seed, green tea) which quench just 1 free radical per molecule. The remarkable nutrigenomic power is conferred by the tiny 8.3 mg gliadin per capsule. Melon extracts without the gliadin have no nutrigenomic ability to increase intra-cellular levels of SOD.
Ask your natural health practitioner for quality SOD to protect your sperm.
Safe for use with coeliac disease:
Catassi C A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to establish a safe gluten threshold for patients with celiac disease Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:160–6.