Men who have trouble fathering children often suffer from low sperm count and poor sperm motility. Sperm count is measured by determining the number of sperm in one milliliter of semen. A sperm count of less than 40 million/mL is regarded as less than normal and will typically result in fertility problems. Motility refers to how sperm moves and is measured by the percentage of sperm that move forward toward the uterus. A motility rate of 50 percent or greater is normal. A motility rate of less than 50 percent is referred to as poor motility and will often result in fertility problems. Some amino acids can be used to increase sperm count and improve motility.
A variety of health conditions can cause infertility, so you should consult your physician to determine the right course of treatment for you. Consult your doctor prior to taking amino acids or any other supplement in an attempt to solve your fertility problems.
Consume foods rich in L-arginine, such as fish, poultry, dairy products and red meat. Once in the body, amino acids are converted to nitric acid, which dilates blood vessels and improves circulation. Better circulation to the groin boosts sperm health and increases sperm motility.
Snack on dried fruits, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts and granola, all of which are high in L-carnitine. L-carnitine is an amino acid that reduces inflammation of the prostate, seminal vesicles and epididymis and enhances sperm motility.
Incorporate peas, tofu, beans, lentils and peanuts into your diet to reap the benefits of L-lysine, an amino acid that raises sperm count when used with zinc. Foods rich in zinc include dark chocolate, mutton, oysters and wheat germ. Eat foods rich in zinc in the same meal as foods high in L-lysine for optimal benefits.
Take amino acid supplements for any fertility-enhancing amino acids you struggle to fit in your diet. Although it is best to consume your amino acids via food as opposed to synthetic supplements, obtaining the amino acids in the form of a supplement is better than not consuming them at all.
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- "Focus on Nursing Pharmacology"; Amy Morrison Karch; 2009
- "Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies"; Frances Sizer; 2008