Daniel Johnson, B.Sc.
The Importance of Diet and Supplementation
Varicocele, the leading cause of infertility in men, has been extensively researched since several years now, leading to numerous types of treatments to cure this condition, but also methods to prevent it. Of course, proper diet and supplementation have resulted very beneficial outcomes for patients affected by varicocele or infertility in general.
This is especially true today, when nutrition has become an essential part of our lifestyle. The ability to nourish our organisms with the right and correct elements is essential for vitality. Natural therapies could be considered as an alternative medical option to conventional treatments or as an associated option to them.
If you have a personal or family history of varicocele and/or infertility, you should pay attention to the tips listed here and consider them for supporting the health of your testicular veins, improving blood flow, protecting your vein walls, and especially regulating your sperm count and quality, protecting it from free radical and toxic damage.
The Effect of Diet on Sperm Count & Quality
There has been a diversity of studies, investigations, and reviews that centered its attention on this topic. In 2017, Spanish scientists and experts in the matter made a systematic review of several observational studies, taking only into consideration the ones which met the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, excluding RCTs, animal studies, review articles, and low-quality studies.
This review found that diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants such as vitamin C, D, and E, β-carotene, minerals like selenium and zinc, and other elements such as cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and folate were associated with high sperm count and quality. On the other hand, diets high in saturated and trans-fatty acids coming from processed and red meats, full-fat and total dairy products like cheese, etc. were associated with poor semen quality. Other elements such as soy foods, potatoes, alcohol, coffee, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages were reported as a negative influence for fertility parameters.
Oxidative Stress a Main Reason for Infertility
Oxidative stress and decreased levels of seminal total antioxidant capacity are the main reasons of male infertility nowadays. A review made by Iranian scientists in 2016 showed the importance of oral antioxidant supplements on improving semen parameters like sperm count, motility, morphology, fertility rate, and DNA damage.
In most of the studies reviewed, researchers found that antioxidant elements can have beneficial effects:
The review concluded that the proper combination of these antioxidants can significantly improve semen parameters helping infertile men.
Diet and Supplementation: More Evidence!
Other studies also support these findings. Personnel of the Department of Urology of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi showed that antioxidant therapy can be a potential option for treating varicocele-associated male infertility due to its theoretical benefits, data from preclinical studies, and lack of major side effects.
Yao et al concluded in one of his studies in 2016 that supplements that have demonstrated positive effects on male fertility on small randomized controlled trials include Aescin, coenzyme Q10, glutathione, Korean red ginseng, L-carnitine, Nigella sativa, Omega-3, selenium, a combination of zinc and folate, and the Menevit antioxidant.
Apart from the elements stated above, there are other elements that can be included in diet through food or supplementation, which are very beneficial for semen parameters:
Important Notes to Consider
It is important for you to consider the elements stated above and know that there are other elements that could help you or your loved ones to improve the varicocele-associated problems and increase the chances of successful pregnancy by reducing oxidative stress and damage, regulating blood flow to the genitals, improving spermatic veins conditions, and diminishing inflammation levels.
Proper intake and dosage of these elements is important and necessary to achieve treatment goals (preventing varicocele-associated infertility or cure it), and avoid risky side effects or complications due to excessive consumption. Studies such as the one made by Majzoub et al (2018) and Henkel et al (2018) discussed this fact and agreed in the importance of knowing and understanding the importance of dosage intake and its possible effects, beneficial or not.
Author: Stefano Pizzo, MD.
Dr. Stefano Pizzo is a general practitioner. He graduated from Universidad de Oriente (UDO), Barcelona, Venezuela. In his last year as a Medical student, he lent his services in the Departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics, General Surgery, Traumatology, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics at the "Luis Ortega" Central Hospital in Nueva Esparta State, doing assistance work in its Emergency and Hospitalization areas. Since then, he became a trained expert in Neural Therapy and he occupies the majority of his time writing valid and certified medical and scientific articles, especially in the Anti-Aging and Alternative Medicine fields.
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