Three ways obesity affects your sperm and what you can do about it.
Sperm can be damaged by inflammation caused by poor diet, certain lifestyle choices and medical conditions. The use of anti-oxidant rich vitamins, along with a sperm-friendly diet, exercise and lifestyle modification for 12 weeks can improve normal sperm production and increase the chance for a pregnancy.
Part of the inflammatory response includes white blood cells which carry little “bombs” called oxygen radicals that are meant to protect our body. When inflammation is excessive, these “bombs” can oxidize sperm leading to sperm damage.
Anti-oxidants are molecules that neutralize oxygen radicals preventing them from doing harm. Vitamins containing anti-oxidants such as Vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, and selenium are effective at preventing sperm damage.
Taking an anti-oxidant rich vitamin supplement daily before conception helps to optimize sperm quality.
Vitamins supplementation is just that – a supplement to a well-balanced diet.
M.E.N.S vitamins were formulated to provide a breadth of anti-oxidant molecules and sperm-friendly agents proven to increase normal sperm production. Just as women take a prenatal vitamin, men should do the same to help ensure optimal sperm quality and baby health.
Vitamin supplementation works best in combination with other anti-inflammatory efforts like a well-balanced diet, exercise, health maintenance and stress management.
You can also lower inflammation and improve sperm quality by eating a diet that includes foods with high anti-oxidant content, good fats and high fiber. Try to eat lots of brightly-colored fruits (cherries, berries), vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage), whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread), plant-based proteins (beans, nuts, avocados, olive oil), fatty fish high in Omega-3 (salmon, tuna, sardines), and fresh herbs and spices.
Foods high in saturated and trans fat, fried in vegetable oil, processed or those that cause blood sugar spikes all increase inflammation. Some common foods to avoid include French fries, high-fat meats and processed meat like hot dogs, sugary snacks like candy and pastries, soda and energy drinks, whole-fat dairy products, coffee creamers and margarine.
The goal is to lower inflammatory foods and increase anti-inflammatory foods. These dietary guidelines can also help weight loss which also lowers inflammation.
What is the simplest way a man can naturally enhance his sperm? An anti-oxidant rich diet and daily vitamin supplement helps to optimize sperm quality and improve pregnancy rates.
Anything that throws off our psychological or physical equilibrium induces an immune response called inflammation. When inflammation is continuous and chronic it can damage body tissues — including sperm.
Stress occurs when your normal equilibrium is thrown off. Some men function well with incredible stress levels – because this is their equilibrium and their body knows how to compensate. Chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation which over time becomes damaging to sperm. The use of coffee, cigarettes and energy drinks to combat stress only worsen inflammation and diminish sperm health. Better to break the cycle of inflammation by introducing anti-inflammatory activities that are also enjoyable and achievable. Exercise, yoga, acupuncture, time off work or just 10-15 minute mindful sessions during the day may help break the cycle of inflammation.
Our busy, stressful lives often depend on laptops and cell phones. Heat is the enemy of sperm that is why your scrotum hangs away from your body – so it can keep your testicles lower than body temperature. When you put a laptop on your lap it heats up the one part of your body needed for sperm production; also watch out for cell phones since Wi-Fi radiation may also be harmful. Same idea for hot tubs and saunas – great stress relievers, but limit your time as they may affect sperm if done too frequently or too long.
Sleep also helps to reduce the effects of stress. It allows the resumption of hormonal rhythms, lets the mind and body reset and most importantly improves fertility.
Moderate exercise at least three times a week provides tremendous benefits for fertility. It decreases inflammation, helps weight loss, lowers insulin and improves blood sugar levels, and helps you sleep. One study demonstrated that a 12 week program of High Intensity Interval Training actually improved the epigenetic profile of sperm. Exercise also leads to an increase in testosterone, a hormone critical for sperm production, and improved sexual function.
Alcohol provides some anti-oxidant and health benefits in moderation but in excess can cause inflammation. The term “moderation” is probably different for each person. We know that the effect of drinking excess alcohol can be transmitted genetically and possibly epigenetically to children through sperm, leading to abnormal physical features and cognitive deficiencies as seen in fetal alcohol syndrome. We may be able to better define a “safe” level of alcohol intake once we learn more about these phenomena. Until such time, it’s best to limit alcohol intake for the 3-6 months prior to conception to optimize sperm development.
Like alcohol, caffeine in moderation may help by kick-starting your day and giving you more energy. In excess it becomes inflammatory and may disrupt your sleep, especially if you add sugar or down too many energy drinks.
Cigarettes – have been scientifically shown to diminish sperm quality and delay the time to conception. Nothing good here for a future father.
We don’t have good information on whether Cannabis or CBD oil has a harmful effect on sperm quality. The medicinal benefits of these agents have to be weighed against possible harm.
It takes two to make a healthy baby; contact us to discover how adopting these dietary and vitamin supplement recommendations will help you live a more sperm-friendly lifestyle and increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy.
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Sperm are important because they transport the father’s DNA to start the process of having a baby.
In 2017 the medical journal Human Reproduction Update published a landmark study showing that sperm counts have decreased 60% over the last 40 years in Western countries.