According to the National Institutes of Health, male infertility is involved in approximately 40% of the 2.6 million infertile couples in the United States. Research has shown that acupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements can significantly improve sperm quantity, motility and morphology.
The following have been implicated in male infertility:
• Hormonal imbalances
• Inflammation from excessive oxidation Prostato-vesiculo-epididymitis (PVE)
• Excessive heat
• Pesticide exposure
• High intake of cotton seed oil
• Hepatic cirrhosis
• Xeno-estrogen exposure
• Radiation exposure
• Heavy metal toxicity
Sperm maturation averages 70-90 days. Therefore, It is essential for men to receive treatment (herbs, supplements, acupuncture) for at least 3 months prior to starting a family.
Dad & Miles
Nutritional Supplements and Herbs for Enhanced Sperm Production and Motility
Studies have shown L-arginine improves sperm count and motility without side effects. It is also used for erectile dysfunction due to its positive effect on blood circulation.
Dosage: 4 grams/day
Do not take if you have herpes.
An essential amino acid found in high concentrations in sperm and seminal fluid. Carnitine transports fatty acids into the mitochondria (the power house of the cell). L-carnitine is associated with significant increases in concentrations of sperm, increased motility and count and the percentage of motile sperm.
Dosage: 3 grams/day
Zinc and Folic Acid
Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential for sperm production. Folic acid is a B-vitamin also important as a co-factor in DNA synthesis. A study showed that these nutrients improved sperm counts by 74% for both fertile and subfertile men.
Dosage: 66mg zinc sulfate, 5mg folic acid
The B-complex vitamins B6, B12 and B9-folic acid are critical nutrients in the male reproductive system for proper hormone metabolism, sperm formation and motility.
High concentrations of free radicals can directly damage sperm cells and contribute to erectile dysfunction. It is recommended to take the following antioxidants:
Vitamin E – 600mg/day
Glutathione/selenium – 200mcg/day
Co-Q10 – 60mg/day
Pycnogenol – 40 mg.
(One study shows pycnogenol combined with L-arginine improved erectile dysfunction in 92.5% of the patients for 40 men age 40-45.)
Certain herbs such as astragalus, epimidium, ginseng and pygeum have been favorably researched for their effect on sperm. However, a personally tailored herbal formula that includes Chinese Medicine pattern differentiation combined with nutritional supplements is the best way to approach the issue.
See Herbal Medicine section.
We carry a supplement to help improve sperm containing many of the ingredients listed above.
For references to all studies see the links below.
Full text Review study of nutrients/herbs and acupuncture for use in male infertility Sinclair S. Male infertility: nutritional and environmental considerations. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Feb;5(1):28-38. Review.
Acupuncture Study Abstracts
Gurfinkel E, Cedenho AP, Yamamura Y, Srougi M.
Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities. Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec;5(4):345-8.Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9.
Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B.
Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density inmales with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9.