Proper nutrition is essential for health, and a deficiency of one or more nutrients will have a negative impact on the body’s function. A number of vitamins are particularly important for male virility, which comprises vigor and reproductive health. Nowadays a number of herbal formulations and drugs are also available on the market, which are advertised to enhance virility, but these should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet.
As reported in the April 2010 issue of “The Journal of Clinical Investigation,” vitamin A plays a key role in the formation of sperm. Vitamin A is also important for production of testosterone. This vitamin is also needed for good vision and for skin health. It is found in animal products, such as liver, fish liver oil, and milk, and in orange-yellow fruit and vegetables and dark green vegetables such as broccoli and kale.
Deficiency of vitamin C can cause infertility. This vitamin is an important anti-oxidant and is essential is collagen synthesis, immune function, and wound healing. Sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, papaya, oranges and other citrus fruits.
Folate deficiency can also cause infertility. This vitamin is essential in DNA replication and thus plays a key role in sperm production. Folate is found in leafy vegetables, legumes, egg yolks and liver. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is found in supplements and fortified foods.
Vitamin B-6 is an essential nutrient for the production of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, other functions of this vitamin include nervous system functioning, red blood cell formation and nucleic acid synthesis. Vitamin B-6 is found in meats, whole grain products, nuts and vegetables.
Minerals and Trace Elements
Apart from the vitamins mentioned above, the mineral zinc and the trace element selenium are also important for male virility. Zinc is involved in a number of enzymatic reactions and is essential for DNA and RNA synthesis. Hence an adequate intake of zinc is important to ensure healthy sperm. This mineral is also important for normal growth and wound healing. It is naturally found in oysters and may be in part responsible for oysters’ alleged aphrodisiac powers. It is also found in meat, lentils, milk and dairy products. Selenium is a trace element which is found in meats, fish, eggs, nuts and mushrooms. According to MayoClinic.com, deficiency of selenium can cause infertility in males.