Posts tagged ‘Supplements’

Effect of Zinc and Folic Acid on Sperm

A study published in 2002 examined the effect of folic acid and zinc sulfate on male factor subfertility. This large, well-designed clinical trial found a 74% increase in total normal sperm when subfertile men took 66 mg of zinc sulfate and 5 mg of folic acid daily. Sperm count also increased in fertile men, but this was not statistically significant.

The doses used in this study are rather high, considering that the US RDA is 15 mg per day of zinc and 400 micrograms (400 mcg = 0.4 mg).

While these results appear very promising, the impact of increased sperm count on likelihood of conception was not evaluated in this study.


1 December 2007 at 9:56 pm 8 comments

Geritol and Iron

While there are plenty of internet rumors suggesting that taking Geritol can miraculously improve fertility, even the manufacturer has this to say:

Will the use of GeritolĀ® increase my sex drive or fertility?
There’s no evidence that GeritolĀ® can increase fertility and we don’t make that claim. We’re not sure how the rumor got started, but there’s no truth to it.”

Geritol, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is simply a multivitamin containing iron. Chances are, the prenatal vitamin you are taking is superior. Here’s how a few compare:

A large study was published in 2006, examining the effects of supplemental iron (in multivitamins or other supplements) on infertility. The study concluded that women who took supplemental iron had a significantly lower risk (approximately half) of ovulatory infertility.

Bottom line: Take a good prenatal tablet, containing sufficient iron along with other essential vitamins and minerals, and skip the Geritol.

1 December 2007 at 1:42 pm 149 comments

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, a water soluble antioxidant, (ascorbic acid) has been shown to improve fertility in women with a luteal phase defect (diagnosed based on luteal phase <10 days and low serum progesterone). Women randomized to the treatment group took 750 mg of vitamin C per day. Not only did serum progesterone increase in 53% of the women, but 25% of them became pregnant during the study, as compared to only 10% who were not taking vitamin C.

Many prenatal vitamins, including Nature Made and Twinlab only have 100-120 mg of vitamin C. While this exceeds the RDA, supplementing with additional vitamin C (for example, with 750 mg as in the study) is considered very safe, since this is a water-soluble vitamin that will simply be eliminated in urine. In addition, quality vitamin C is inexpensive and readily available as a chewable
or as tablets.

30 November 2007 at 10:33 pm 3 comments


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