For men who are struggling with infertility, Father's Day can be a bittersweet experience.
A recent study published in Vital Link noted that in the last 50 years, sperm levels have declined from 113 million/mL in 1940 to 66 million/mL in 1990. The researchers concluded that this is likely due to the increase of environmental estrogens, oxidative stress, and STIs.
Estrogens have become more prevalent in the environment due to the increased use of oral contraceptives; estrogen leaves the body through urination, but it is often not removed in waste treatment, and is then redeposited in tap water. Some herbicides and pesticides, as well as phthalates, can also harm sperm production. BPA can also inhibit androgens. BPA exposure contributed to a 4x greater risk of inhibited sperm motility.
Also, avoid glyphosate. Multiple papers on rodent studies have indicated disruption of the male reproductive system by glyphosate, used in the herbicide Roundup. Acute treatment of 60-day-old male Sprague-Dawley rats to Roundup caused a marked increase in aromatase mRNA in testicular tissue, likely reflecting an increase in production due to suppression of the activity of aromatase (CYP 19), accompanied by abnormal sperm morphology. Aromatase participates in both hormone synthesis and metabolism. It is an important enzyme in testes that converts testosterone to estrogen, thus regulating the balance of sex hormones. In similar studies, consequences for sperm included a decline in sperm volume and concentration, as well as a decline in semen initial fructose and osmolality.
High fat foods can also be detrimental to sperm health. Similarly, trans-fat consumption is related to lower semen parameters, including volume.
Still, the article pointed out that supplementation can help offset these issues. Fiery Male, increases libido and improves testosterone levels, Folic acid (found in P5P Complex) and Zinc in the picolinate state can improve motility, antioxidants such as CoQ10 (found in Neurotransmitter Support) can help with sperm concentration and motility, and Vitamin C can help sperm quality overall.
Eldon Dahl, is a trained naturopath and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Life Choice Ltd. www.lifechoice.net.
Listen to a recent Life Choice webinar on Male Health, which can be viewed here.