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Micronutrients may boost quality of older men's sperm

Category: General Wellness

Blood testing to measure nutrient levels can help inform men of whether they are consuming enough vitamins and minerals. Such information may guide health-related decisions. For example, new research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that a high intake of different micronutrients may make the sperm quality of older men comparable to that of younger men.

These results are significant in light of current trends that see men fathering babies past the age of 35. As they get older, the sperm that they produce tend to acquire more DNA damage, increasing the risk that their children are born with conditions such as dwarfism.

In order to understand whether diet could improve sperm quality, a team of scientists conducted an experiment on 80 men aged 20 to 80 years. In addition to providing sperm samples, the subjects also answered questionnaires concerning their daily intake of certain nutrients.

"It appears that consuming more micronutrients such as vitamin C, E, folate and zinc helps turn back the clock for older men. We found that men 44 and older who consumed at least the recommended dietary allowance of certain micronutrients had sperm with a similar amount of DNA damage as the sperm of younger men," said lead researcher Andy Wyrobek.

However, these effects were not observed in younger subjects.

Older men who are thinking of having children may want to consider blood testing to measure their levels of various micronutrients.

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