It's true, studies show that supplements can improve men's fertility

Fertile Panda recommends a daily dose of the following:

To get the same doses used in the successful studies below, take the following combination (for a total of about $3.40/day)

There are combination supplements out there, but none have all of these ingredients.

FertilAid for men has: 50 mg Zinc, 0.5 mg Folic Acid, and an unlabeled amount of L-Carnitine and Maca Root, for $1/day. A study on FertilAid showed most users increased their total motile sperm count by over 20%

Fertile One (Coast Reproductive Male Fertility Supplement) has: 70 mg Zinc, 1 mg Folic Acid, and an unlabeled amount of CoQ10 and L-Carnitine, for $3/day.

Fertility Blend For Men has: 15 mg Zinc, 0.4 mg Folic Acid, and an unlabeled amount of L-Carnitine for $1/day.

Proxeed Plus has: 10 mg Zinc, 0.2 mg Folic Acid, 1 g L-Carnitine and .5 g Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and an unspecified amount of CoQ10, for $4/day.

ZINC & FOLIC ACID (Note Folic Acid is also known as Folate)

Effects of folic acid and zinc sulfate on male factor subfertility: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Wong WY, Merkus HM, Thomas CM, Menkveld R, Zielhuis GA, Steegers-Theunissen RP.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of folic acid and zinc sulfate treatment on semen variables in fertile and subfertile men. DESIGN: Double-blind, placebo-controlled interventional study. SETTING: Two outpatient fertility clinics and nine midwifery practices in The Netherlands. PARTICIPANT(S): One hundred eight fertile and 103 subfertile men. INTERVENTION(S): Both groups were randomly assigned to receive one of four treatments for 26 weeks: folic acid and placebo, zinc sulfate and placebo, zinc sulfate and folic acid, and two placebos. Folic acid was given at a daily dose of 5 mg, and zinc sulfate was given at a daily dose of 66 mg. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Before and after treatment, standardized semen and blood samples were obtained for determinations of sperm concentration, motility, and morphology according to World Health Organization guidelines; semen morphology according to strict criteria; and blood folate and zinc concentrations. Effects of the four interventions were evaluated separately in subfertile and fertile men. RESULT(S): Subfertile men demonstrated a significant 74% increase in total normal sperm count and a minor increase of 4% abnormal spermatozoa. A similar trend was observed in fertile men. Pre-intervention concentrations of folate and zinc in blood and seminal plasma did not significantly differ between fertile and subfertile men. CONCLUSION(S): Total normal sperm count increases after combined zinc sulfate and folic acid treatment in both subfertile and fertile men. Although the beneficial effect on fertility remains to be established, this finding opens avenues of future fertility research and treatment and may affect public health.

PMID: 11872201

See also: Does folic acid and zinc sulphate intervention affect endocrine parameters and sperm characteristics in men? PMID: 16533356


Carnitines and male infertility.

Agarwal A, Said TM. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Desk A19.1, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

L-Carnitine (LC) and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) are highly concentrated in the epididymis and play a crucial role in sperm metabolism and maturation. They are related to sperm motility and have antioxidant properties. The objective of this review is to summarize the multiple roles played by LC and ALC in male reproduction, and to highlight their limitations as well as their benefits in the treatment of male infertility. A variety of studies support the conclusion that LC and/or ALC at total daily amounts of at least 3 g per day can significantly improve both sperm concentration and total sperm counts among men with astheno- or oligoasthenozoospermia. Although many clinical trials have demonstrated the beneficial effects of LC and ALC in selected cases of male infertility, the majority of these studies suffer from a lack of placebo-controlled, double blind design, making it difficult to reach a definite conclusion. Additional, well-designed studies are necessary to further validate the use of carnitines in the treatment of patients with male infertility, specifically in men with poor semen quality.

PMID: 15149558

See also Correlation between seminal carnitine and functional spermatozoal characteristics in men with semen dysfunction of various origins, PMID: 15801863


Improvement in sperm quality and function with French maritime pine tree bark extract.

Roseff SJ.West Essex Center for Advanced Reproductive Endocrinology, 741 Northfield Avenue, Suite 100, West Orange, NJ 07052, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of Pycnogenol (French maritime pine tree bark extract) on sperm parameters and function in subfertile men. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, nonrandomized, clinical study in a private infertility practice. Nineteen subfertile men were given 200 mg Pycnogenol daily orally for 90 days. Semen samples were analyzed before and after treatment for sperm count, motility score and strict morphology before and after capacitation, and mannose receptor binding. RESULTS: The mean sperm morphology following Ham's F-10 capacitation increased by 38% following Pycnogenol treatment, and the mannose receptor binding assay scores improved by 19%. CONCLUSION: Pycnogenol therapy resulted in improved capacitated sperm morphology and mannose receptor binding. The increase in morphologically and functionally normal sperm may allow couples diagnosed with teratozoospermia to forgo in vitro fertilization and either experience improved natural fertility or undergo less invasive and less expensive fertility-promoting procedures, such as intrauterine insemination.

PMID: 12418064


Coenzyme Q10 treatment in infertile men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia: a placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized trial.

Balercia G, Buldreghini E, Vignini A, Tiano L, Paggi F, Amoroso S, Ricciardo-Lamonica G, Boscaro M, Lenzi A, Littarru G. Department of Internal Medicine and Applied Biotechnologies, Andrology Unit, Endocrinology, Umberto I Hospital, School of Medicine, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of coenzyme Q(10) treatment in improving semen quality in men with idiopathic infertility. DESIGN: Placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized trial. PATIENT(S): Sixty infertile patients (27-39 years of age) with the following baseline sperm selection criteria: concentration >20 x 10(6)/mL, sperm forward motility <50%, and normal sperm morphology >30%; 55 patients completed the study. INTERVENTION(S): Patients underwent double-blind therapy with coenzyme Q(10), 200 mg/day, or placebo; the study design was 1 month of run-in, 6 months of therapy or placebo, and 3 months of follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Variations in semen parameters used for patient selection and variations of coenzyme Q(10) and ubiquinol concentrations in seminal plasma and spermatozoa. RESULT(S): Coenzyme Q(10) and ubiquinol increased significantly in both seminal plasma and sperm cells after treatment, as well as spermatozoa motility. A weak linear dependence among the relative variations, baseline and after treatment, of seminal plasma or intracellular coenzyme Q(10) and ubiquinol levels and kinetic parameters was found in the treated group. Patients with a lower baseline value of motility and levels of coenzyme Q(10) had a statistically significant higher probability to be responders to the treatment. CONCLUSION(S): The exogenous administration of coenzyme Q(10) increases the level of the same and ubiquinol in semen and is effective in improving sperm kinetic features in patients affected by idiopathic asthenozoospermia.

PMID: 18395716

See also An update of Coenzyme Q10 implications in male infertility: biochemical and therapeutic aspects, PMID: 16873942

BLACK MACA (Peruvian plant AKA Lepidium meyenii) - Note, study is on rats

Effect of short-term and long-term treatments with three ecotypes of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on spermatogenesis in rats.

Gonzales C, Rubio J, Gasco M, Nieto J, Yucra S, Gonzales GF. Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, P.O. Box 1843, Lima, Peru.

Lepidium meyenii (Brassicaceae), known as Maca, is a Peruvian hypocotyl that grows exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m above sea level in the central Andes. Maca is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed fertility-enhancing properties. The study aimed to test the hypothesis that different ecotypes of Maca (Red, Yellow and Black) after short-term (7 days) and long-term (42 days) treatment affects differentially spermatogenesis adult rats. After 7 days of treatment with Yellow and Red Maca, the length of stage VIII was increased (P<0.05), whereas with Black Maca stages II-VI and VIII were increased (P<0.05). Daily sperm production (DSP) was increased in the group treated with Black Maca compared with control values (P<0.05). Red or Yellow Maca did not alter DSP and epididymal sperm motility was not affected by treatment with any ecotype of Maca. After 42 days of treatment, Black Maca was the only ecotype that enhanced Daily Sperm Production (P<0.05). Moreover, Black Maca was the only that increased epididymal sperm motility (P<0.05). In relation to the control group, Red Maca did not affect testicular and epididymal weight nor epididymal sperm motility and sperm count; however, prostate weight was reduced (P<0.05). Black or Yellow Maca did not affect prostate weight. In conclusion, there were differences in the biological response of the three ecotypes of Maca (Yellow, Red and Black). Black Maca appeared to have more beneficial effect on sperm counts and epididymal sperm motility.

PMID: 16174556


Initial studies done in China suggest positive effects on sperm:

Effects of several Chinese herbal aqueous extracts on human sperm motility in vitro.

Liu J, Liang P, Yin C, Wang T, Li H, Li Y, Ye Z.Department of Urology, Tongji Hospital, Wuhan, China.

The effects of six kinds of aqueous extracts of Chinese herbal medicine (Astragalus membranaceus, Acanthopanacis senticosi, Panax genseng and Ophiopogon japonicus, P. genseng and Aconitum carmichaeli, Salviae miltiorrhiae, Polyporus umbellatus polysaccharide) on sperm motility characteristics of 30 infertile male volunteers were studied in vitro with a computer-assisted sperm analysis at 15, 60 and 180 min after incubated with the drugs. The results showed that per cent viability, number of progressive motile spermatozoa, curvilinear velocity, average path velocity and amplitude of lateral head displacement were significantly enhanced by A. membranaceus (P < 0.05 or < 0.01), per cent viability, average path velocity and amplitude of lateral head displacement were significantly enhanced by A. senticosi (P < 0.05), but all the above were not affected by P. genseng and O. japonicus, P. genseng and A. carmichaeli, S. miltiorrhiae and P. umbellatus polysaccharide. It is suggested that A. membranaceus and A. senticosi can enhance the motility of human spermatozoa in vitro.

PMID: 15084153

See also A comparative study of the effects of Acanthopanacis senticosi injection, theophylline and caffeine on human sperm mobility in vitro, PMID: 19452703

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