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How Nutrition Affects Male Fertility

The second in a two-part series on enhancing ferility with nutrition.  This week, the focus is on the guys.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
December 4, 2013
Episode #262

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This is the second in a two-part series on nutrition and fertility. Last week, I talked about dietary factors that affect women’s reproductive health. But, obviously, it takes two people to make a baby - and nutrition has a significant impact on men’s reproductive function as well. This week’s episode focuses on the things men can do to enhance their fertility.

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First, I want to reiterate something I said last week: Most of this information is gleaned from observational and not experimental data. In other words, we’re looking at the associations between various nutritional factors and male fertility. We don’t know for certain that adopting these habits improves fertility. However, seeing as all of them are consistent with overall good health, there certainly doesn’t seem to be any harm in trying.

Two Big Factors in Male Fertility

Get off the couch and hit the gym to enhance the quantity and quality of your little swimmers.

There’s an old saying that a gentlemen should never ask a lady about her age or her weight. If that’s true, fertility doctors are no gentlemen! As I talked about last week, both factors play a big role in a woman’s fertility. But guess what, guys? Both of these factors also apply to you.

Unlike women, who reach a hard-stop at menopause, men can continue to father children into old age. However, sperm quality-- in terms of both numbers and friskiness, or motility-- starts to decline around age 35. You can’t turn back the clock, of course, but you should be aware that delaying parenthood while you pursue other goals may make it a little harder for you to start a family.

Regardless of your age, sperm quality also declines when you are overweight. This is perhaps related to the dual finding that guys who exercise more have better sperm quality and those who watch more TV have lower sperm counts. So, dads-to-be, starting a family may require more than just showing up for the critical act. Get off the couch and hit the gym to enhance the quantity and quality of your little swimmers.

Get-Fit Guy has more on how exercise can help you boost your reproductive capacity in his episode 6 Ways to Increase Testosterone With Exercise.

Nutritional Factors that May Affect Male Fertility

As far as nutrition is concerned, there are a few nutrients that you might want to pay special attention to....

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