Zinc is essential for DNA replication and cell growth. It’s also needed to heal wounds and keep the immune system functioning properly.
Zinc deficiency is associated with fertility problems in men. It’s important to get enough zinc during preconception and pregnancy.
Legumes are a good source of zinc. However, they also contain phytates, which inhibit zinc absorption and other minerals. Soaking, sprouting or cooking legumes can help increase nutrient availability.
Coenzyme Q10 is an important mitochondrial cofactor with major energy-producing antioxidant properties. It is naturally produced in the body and is also available as a dietary supplement. It is also known as ubiquinone, and its name comes from the number of isoprenoid units in its side chain (as shown below).
Studies suggest that CoQ10 can protect cells from oxidative stress by stabilizing essential fatty acids and reducing lipid peroxidation. It also lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels and may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
In addition, CoQ10 may enhance fertility in men. A recent study found that couples undergoing IVF who took CoQ10 supplements had more eggs retrieved, better fertilization rates, and more high-quality embryos than those who did not. However, more research is needed to determine if CoQ10 improves fertility outcomes.
This PDQ cancer summary for professionals was updated and reviewed in September 2015. The National Cancer Institute PDQ Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Therapies Editorial Board provides this information. This PDQ cancer summary contains comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based data about using Coenzyme Q10 to treat cancer patients. This summary does not give formal guidelines or recommendations to make healthcare decisions.
In the United States, dietary supplements, unlike prescription and over-the-counter medications, are not regulated. The quality and safety may differ from one manufacturer to another. It is therefore important to choose a product of high quality from a reliable source.
The trace mineral selenium plays a role in thyroid function and supports the body’s antioxidant system. It’s also been linked to male fertility, including sperm health and libido. Certainly, here’s the rewritten version:
Selenium is an essential nutrient that is vital in promoting men’s preconception health. With its proven benefits, it has become a popular men’s preconception vitamins. If you want to improve your reproductive health, consider adding selenium to your daily regimen. Research has shown that adequate selenium levels protect sperm cells from oxidative damage. Selenium is also involved in the formation of sperm, specifically affecting the tail of the sperm cell where DNA is present.
This is important for male fertility, as the oxidation of sperm DNA can lead to infertility. This process is known as spermatogenesis. In a study, selenium significantly boosted the testosterone and sperm count of men with low selenium.
Aside from helping with sperm health, selenium has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease. It helps prevent the oxidative modification of lipids, or fats, in the body. This can decrease inflammation and the buildup of platelets in the blood. It also decreases the risk of age-related cognitive decline by reducing free radical damage to brain cells.
In North America, selenium intakes are usually above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). However, people who live in countries with a vegetarian diet and soils deficient in selenium can experience deficiencies. In the US, early poverty indicators include a garlic odor or metallic taste in the mouth. Chronically high intakes can lead to a skin rash and hair or nail brittleness.
Zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in the body and is found in every cell. It metabolizes nutrients, maintains immune function, builds proteins and DNA, and supports tissue growth and repair. Zinc cannot be stored in the body, so regularly consuming sufficient amounts of this nutrient is essential. The Recommended Daily Intake (UL) of zinc is 40 mg daily for males and females 19 years or older.
Studies have shown that a zinc deficiency can negatively impact sperm production and quality. Zinc is necessary for several sperm functions, including chromatin condensation and motility. It also acts as an antioxidant and a hormone balancer.
It’s rare to be deficient in zinc in industrialized countries. Still, low levels are seen in the elderly, alcoholics, people on restricted diets, and those with malabsorption syndromes like Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite, diarrhea, skin problems such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, hair loss, lack of taste or smell, poor wound healing, weight loss, and fertility problems.
Zinc is found in various foods, including meat, dairy, beans, and dark chocolate. Vegetables, however, don’t contain many nutrients except kale and spinach, which provide about 2.5% of the UL for zinc.
Folate, a B vitamin water-soluble, is found naturally in many foods. Folate is added to certain foods and is sold as a dietary supplement. It is easier to absorb than folate obtained from food. Our bodies need folate to produce DNA and RNA and help break down protein. This is especially true during rapid growth, such as pregnancy or fetal development.
Women of childbearing age are often advised to consume more folic acid to safeguard against neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, and increase the likelihood of full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. However, men also need to ensure they consume adequate levels of this essential nutrient.
Research has shown that consuming high amounts of methylated folate (also known as 5-MTHF) may be more beneficial for men’s preconception health than folic acid alone due to its ability to aid in the production and activation of sperm. One study showed that supplemental methylated folate increased semen quality and sperm motility and improved sperm DNA stability.
However, a large double-blind study of men undergoing infertility treatments showed that a daily dose of 5 mg of folic acid and 30 mg of zinc did not improve semen quality or help with conception. These results were consistent with several post hoc sensitivity analyses.