Does using vitamin E for fertility help to improve sperm count?
The sperm cell is responsible for carrying the genetic material (DNA) needed to fertilize the female egg. During its long trip through the fallopian tube, it must preserve the integrity of the DNA. This is absolutely critical.
There's no point in having a high motility sperm cell fertilize the egg with a less than perfect set of genetic material!
Experts suspect that antioxidants may play a significant role in preserving the quality of the DNA and preventing it against oxidative damage.
Indeed, studies done on animal sperm cells do show that antioxidant supplements can significantly prevent DNA damage.
But animal studies do not necessarily translate to benefits in humans. Are there any studies to show the antioxidant property of vitamin E in protects human sperm cells?
Indeed there are. Read on to find out what experts have discovered...
Lipid peroxidation and human sperm motility: protective role of vitamin E.
Suleiman SA, Ali ME, Zaki ZM, et al.
J Androl. 1996 Sep-Oct;17(5):530-7.
This study is interesting in that the researchers discovered a link between high oxidative stress levels (as measured by the amount of lipid peroxidation present) and decreased sperm motility.
They looked at 52 men who suffer from asthenospermia (a major cause of male infertility).
Men given oral vitamin E supplement had lowered oxidative stress levels in the semen and in the sperm cells.
Of the 52 men who volunteered for this study, eleven of them got their spouse pregnant and nine of them delivered healthy babies. (Two did result in aborted pregnancies.)
No pregnancy occurred in the men who did not take the vitamin E supplement. (That was the placebo group who took a look alike sugar pill).
Although this study completed in Saudi Arabia is small, the results are compelling. Lower oxidative stress by taking antioxidants and fertility in men seems to increase.
The second more recent study discussed below showed similar positive results.
Selenium-vitamin E supplementation in infertile men: effects on semen parameters and pregnancy rate.
Moslemi MK, Tavanbakhsh S.
Int J Gen Med. 2011 Jan 23;4:99-104.
This is probably one of the largest studies done on the benefits of antioxidants in promoting fertility. It is done out of Iran and involved 690 infertile men.
These men suffered from infertility for at least 1 year and the average length is 2.5 years. The average age of these men was 29 years.
These infertile men were given vitamin E (400 IU daily) and selenium (200 mcg daily) for 100 days.
Here are the results:
Fifty-three percent of the men showed improvements in sperm motility, quality (sperm shape) or both.
There was also a 10.8% improvement in pregnancy rate compared to men not taking the selenium and vitamin E supplement.
Given these compelling results, the authors concluded that a combination of selenium and vitamin E enhances sperm motility and sperm quality in infertile men.
From these and other studies, it seems that vitamin E dose of 400 IU daily for 3 months is sufficient.
We suggest taking 400 IU of vitamin E for fertility enhancement along with 200 mcg of selenium. Other studies also show benefits of vitamin C for fertility enhancement. (Vitamin C is another potent antioxidant that is shown to help.)
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Both remedies can be safely taken with vitamin E and other antioxidants for fertility enhancement.
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Should I consider taking vitamin E for fertility enhancement?
Yes. Antioxidant supplements with vitamin E seem to be important for maintaining the quality of the DNA in the sperm cells.
This is especially true in men who suffer from infertility due to poor sperm quality and motility.
Take 400 IU of vitamin E daily along with 200 mcg of selenium.
The popular all natural products Fertile XX and XY can be safely used with vitamin E to further enhance fertility in men and women.