In a nutshell
This study looked at the ingredients of common male fertility supplements. This study found that most ingredients do not have evidence of improving male fertility.
Male factors are the sole cause of 20% of infertility cases and contribute to over 40% of infertility cases. Oxidative stress contributes to low sperm quality. Some antioxidant supplements have evidence of improving sperm quality.
Over-the-counter fertility supplements are commonly used. However, the overuse of these supplements may be associated with sperm cell damage. The impact of these supplements on male fertility has not been studied.
Methods & findings
This study identified 17 supplements which were top search results at common online retailers. A total of 90 ingredients were identified among these supplements. The authors looked up each of these ingredients in current research to evaluate their impact on male fertility.
Each ingredient was given a grade depending on the level of evidence that it improves male fertility, on a scale from negative 1 (no benefit) to 5 (benefit). A supplement’s total score was the average of its ingredients.
Overall, 5 ingredients had the most evidence of improved fertility. These included L-Carnitine, vitamin E, vitamin C, CoQ10, and zinc. Only 22% of ingredients used in supplements had evidence for improving male fertility.
The average supplement score was 1.67. The top-scoring supplements were Evolution 60 (score of 3.6) and Conception XR (score of 3.5). Natrol Maca and Now Raw Maca had scores of 3.0. Supplement Fertilmas had a score of 2.91.
The bottom line
This study found that most ingredients in over-the-counter male fertility supplements do not have evidence of improving male fertility. The authors suggest that a few ingredients may help improve fertility, but their effectiveness remains unclear.
The fine print
The authors searched current research for supplement ingredients that showed a benefit for sperm quality. Some supplements may be recommended, but these still contain ingredients that have not been studied for their effectiveness or safety.
Discuss your use of supplements with your doctor. If you take multiple supplements, be aware of whether the same ingredients are in multiple sources.
Published By :
Nov 17, 2019