Taking vitamins can help men get rid of fertility issues - Men with low fertility levels can become healthier and capable of fathering a child by just including certain essential vitamins in their routine diet, claims a novel study conducted by researchers in New Zealand.
Regular consumption of antioxidants [compounds that protect against cell damage inflicted by molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are a major cause of disease and aging.] like vitamin E and zinc by subfertile men was found to increase their fertilization chances by four times as compared to other subfertile men who did not take the supplements.
"Oral supplementation with antioxidants may go some way to improve a couple's chance of conception," lead researcher Marian Showell of the University of Auckland, in New Zealand, told Reuters Health in an e-mail.
"When trying to conceive as part of an assisted reproductive programme, it may be advisable to encourage men to take oral antioxidant supplements to improve their partners' chances of becoming pregnant.”
The study details
The research included the analysis of past 34 studies involving almost 3,000 couples being treated for fertility issues.
In-Vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination were the 2 major conception boosting treatments being undertaken by the study group for sperm-related issues.
The studies were all aimed at evaluating the potential role of one or more antioxidants in male fertility.
The study results
Regular consumption of the antioxidants by the male partner enhances the rate of conception four fold, the study claimed.
Also these couples were almost five times more likely to give birth to a live baby as compared to those couples where no antioxidants were taken by the men.
"The findings of increased live birth rates with antioxidants are based on a total of only 20 births -- a relatively small number," Dr. Mark Sigman of Brown University, in Providence, R.I., who was not involved in the review, told Reuters Health in an e-mail.
Vitamins C and E, zinc, folic acid, lycopene, garlic oil, and selenium are the essential antioxidants linked with increased chances of male fertility.
Besides oral supplements, these can be found in adequate amounts in foods like cranberries, collard greens, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
The study was published in the 'Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.'
Should not completely rely on antioxidants
However, couples should not completely rely only on antioxidants to get rid of their fertility challenges, researchers warned.
"It is unrealistic to think one treatment will be good for most couples," noted Sigman.
"There is no evidence that antioxidants cause harm," he added. "But since we also don't know which antioxidants or doses are beneficial -- and none have FDA approval for infertility -- consumers are left with purchasing these based on very limited data."