For some time now we have been read numerous studies about how antioxidants can help fertility, both male and female.
One of the most relevant studies in this field, published by the prestigious journal Fertility and Sterility and directed by the research scientist Dr Jaime Mendiola, concludes that taking antioxidants is beneficial for fertility as it delays and prevents molecular oxidisation.
How do antioxidants affect male fertility?
One of the main causes of male infertility is damage to sperm by free radicals through a process of oxidisation. Free radicals can be triggered for a number of reasons, which include heat, diet, environmental factors, contaminating agents and other non-recommendable habits.
A recent article by Cochrane, including more than 34 studies, indicated that couples who were trying to get pregnant whose fertility is affected by problems on the male side such as low sperm count or low motility, increased the likelihood of pregnancy if the man took antioxidants.
It is believed that the chances of pregnancy increase with antioxidants but that they must be prescribed by a medical expert. Lots of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals can be bought, which claim to have the same benefits but which are in effect placebos. Taking this type of medication must be regulated by a doctor in order to help the couple conceive.
Where do antioxidants come from?
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of natural antioxidants. Therefore, the first thing you can do before starting to take prescription drugs is to change your diet. A balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables can help promote fertility as well as combat deterioration on a cellular level.
Fruit and vegetables rich in natural antioxidants include tomatoes, carrots, spinach and sweetcorn; these are the most effective. Antioxidants are also contained in strawberries, pomegranates, cumin and soy.
At the same time, however, fertility can also be boosted by following a series of recommendations.
- Reduce your intake of animal protein and saturated fat.
- Increase your intake of Omega 3, which is found in oily fish like tuna and salmon, walnuts, legumes and food with a high fibre content.
- Avoid all pre-manufactured patisserie products or ready-made meals.
- Do some light sport. This kick starts your metabolism which acts against the ageing process.
- Keep away from toxic substances such as pesticides and fertilisers.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco as they are generally harmful to health.
- Do frequent relaxation exercises.
For men, antioxidants can help improve the quality of fertility. In addition to natural antioxidants, men can boost their bodies with prescription drugs in a suitable dose as prescribed by a medical expert.
If you want to know how antioxidants affect female fertility, please take a look at the following article by Dr Izquierdo which analyses the latest research in this field.