Time to break male infertility taboo and enhance nutrition guidelines

It has been reported that male fertility is declining across the world, with male factor infertility accounting for 40–50% of all infertility cases​, making it important that men are provided with adequate lifestyle and nutrition guidance. 

A recent review, published in the journal ‘Dietetics’ ​reveals the psychosocial impacts of infertility in males whilst assessing nutritional and lifestyle interventions that can be used in personalised nutrition care.

It states that reviewed data indicates dietary modification or supplementation with antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, selenium, carnitine and zinc can improve markers of male fertility and reduce markers of seminal oxidative damage.

From the collected findings, the review provides preconceptual guidelines for men based upon a Mediterranean diet high in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minimally processed foods and minimising exposure to environmental pollutants and radiation. 

“Infertility is emotionally challenging for men and nutrition, and personalised nutrition and lifestyle therapies have potential to support men trying to conceive,” ​it states, “pre-conceptual nutrition and lifestyle guidelines for men have been developed from this review and the use should be considered as the basis for more tailored nutrition care in practice.”

The big taboo

“Despite the increasing trend in male factor infertility, it still remains largely taboo and the male experience of infertility is a poorly researched area hence improved understanding should help improve care of these individuals,” ​the report states.

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