Sperm quality linked to antioxidants

New research published in the journal of Fertility and Sterility has suggested that men of middle age and older who eat food which is rich in antioxidants have better sperm quality.

Sperm quality linked to antioxidants

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 18th September 2012

The study found that men of this age consuming foods rich in Vitamin C and E, folate and zinc such as broccoli and tomatoes were less likely to have DNA ‘strand breaks’ in their sperm.  80 healthy, non smoking men between the ages 22 and 80 who had no reported fertility problems took part in the study.


Through questionnaires, the researchers were able to determine socio-demographics, occupational exposures, medical and reproductive histories, and lifestyle habits.  They found that men with the highest intake of vitamin C had approximately 16% less sperm DNA damage than men with the lowest intake, with similar findings for vitamin E, folate, and zinc. Men older than 44 with the highest vitamin C intake had approximately 20% less sperm DNA damage compared with older men with the lowest intake, with similar findings for vitamin E and zinc. The older men with the highest intake of these micro-nutrients showed levels of sperm damage that were similar to those of the younger men.


The study concluded that ‘men with higher dietary and supplement intake of certain micro-nutrients may produce sperm with less DNA damage, especially among older men. This raises the broader question of how lifestyle factors, including higher intakes of antioxidants and micro-nutrients, might protect somatic as well as germ cells against age-associated genomic damage’.

Source:  Fertility and Sterility Journal, Micronutrients intake is associated with improved sperm DNA quality in older men,  September 2012

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