Both men and women may experience infertility. Aside from genetics, factors such as nutritional, sedentary lifestyle and environment are some of the main culprits of this problem.
Male infertility is a health issue caused by low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm. According to a study, the consumption of tomatoes can help a person deal with it.
In a first-ever double-blind randomized controlled study published in the journal “Nutrition”, a team of researchers has found that tomatoes possess sperm-improving properties.
This study which was lead by Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology Reproduction and Head of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Oncology and Metabolism, and Dr. Liz Williams, a leading specialist in Human Nutrition at the University of Sheffield, aims to know the effect of lycopene on the reproductive system in men.
Lycopene is a dietary compound present in tomatoes and is responsible for its red color. It is a carotenoid with potent antioxidant capabilities. Several researchers have linked lycopene consumption to heart health protection, lowered risk for various cancers, protection against damaging effects of the sun, eye health, improved memory, and stronger bones.
Once tomatoes are processed in high heat, its lycopene becomes usable by the body than in raw tomatoes. However, the heat can destroy other nutrients present in tomatoes such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
For the study, a commercially available formulation called LactoLycopene was used since dietary lycopene is not properly absorbed by the human body. At the end of the study, the team has found that it can boost the proportion of healthy sperm (sperm morphology) by as much as 40%.
Professor Pacey who is also an expert in male reproduction says that:
The improvement in morphology — the size and shape of the sperm, was dramatic. We used a computer system to make these measurements, which takes a lot of the human error out of the results. Also, the person using the computer didn’t know who had taken LactoLycopene and who had taken the dummy pills either.”
Pacey further added:
“We didn’t really expect that at the end of the study there would be any difference in the sperm from men who took the tablet versus those who took the placebo. When we decoded the results, I nearly fell off my chair.”
The researchers commented that these results can help address fertility problems in men and lead to better ways to improve reproductive health along with reducing the damaging impact of modern lifestyle.
Below are some other tips to increase male fertility and improve sperm health.
Eat antioxidant-rich foods (citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, oyster, crab, poultry, and meat)
- Limit soy intake
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Treat the underlying medical condition
- Skip the hot tub
- Avoid wearing constrictive underwear
- Keep the laptop off the lap
- Have an active relationship
- Quit smoking
- Avoid exposure to industrial or environmental toxins