Improve Reproductive Health – Your Micronutrients Fertility Guide

Improve Reproductive Health – Your Micronutrients Fertility Guide

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There is a vast amount of scientific evidence that links micronutrients with improvements in fertility, sperm quality and reproductive health.

In this article, you can find the sources of these key nutrients and the recommended daily dosages – your guide to micronutrients and fertility!

Guide to micronutrients and fertility.

What are micronutrients?

Simply speaking, they are dietary compounds that are vital for the optimal functioning of the body.

They are considered essential because our body can’t produce them in sufficient amounts on its own and they should be obtained through nutrition or supplementation.

Which are the basic micronutrients?

Vitamins are organic substances and are divided into water-soluble or fat-soluble vitamins. Each of the 13 known vitamins has specific functions in the body and when their intake is not enough, vitamin deficiency disorders can occur.

Minerals are inorganic nutrients that also play a vital role in human health and are strongly related to infertility[1]. A subgroup of minerals, trace elements (e.g. copper, selenium, zinc), are present in small quantities in the body and are essential for normal metabolic functions. They are structural components in many enzymes.

Antioxidants are a specific category of vitamins and minerals which have the ability to deactivate naturally occurring damaging compounds in the body called free radicals and promote good health. Antioxidants include substances such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, astaxanthin and lycopene.

Did you know:

Berries like blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries have impressive nutrition profiles. They are particularly high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants and are low in calories. Consistently eating the right amount of these berries has been associated with many health benefits. You can start your day with a smoothie rich in berries and take advantage of the benefits [4].


This section is an overview of the major micronutrients and their influence on male fertility.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in maintaining optimal immune system, vision, reproduction, and cell growth.

It has antioxidant properties and supports cell growth. When a study combined vitamin A with other antioxidants, it improved sperm count (number of sperm cells in a sample) and motility (their ability to swim)[1].

Primary natural sources:  Liver, egg yolk, dairy products, oranges, mangoes, peppers, spinach, carrots.

Vitamin B9 or folate is a water-soluble vitamin which our body needs to make DNA and other genetic material.

Supplement therapy with folic acid, zinc, and antioxidants has been shown to increase sperm count and motility, and to decrease the fragmentation of sperm DNA in men [2][9][17].

Primary natural sources: Dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beef liver, nuts, beans.

Fruit seeds

 Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that contributes to many reactions in the body and also has very strong antioxidant properties. Vitamin C is highly concentrated within seminal plasma (the liquid which makes up the semen) and combination with other antioxidants has been associated with improvements in semen quality [5][6].

Primary natural sources: Citrus fruits, tomato, green leafy vegetables. 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin with important roles in our body. The right amount of vitamin D is necessary to maintain a healthy immune system and optimal hormonal and nervous system.

Another important role is its involvement in the absorption of calcium and the maintenance of healthy bones and skin. It has also been suggested that vitamin D has a beneficial role in male reproduction in the testis [15][16].

Primary food sources: Fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks, beef liver.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that belongs to the tocopherol family. It’s a potent antioxidant compound that protects the cell membranes.

Moreover, when combined with vitamin C, it has shown even stronger antioxidant properties. Supplementation of vitamin E with trace minerals have shown to increase sperm motility [5][7].

Primary natural sources: Eggs, dairy products, vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, green leafy vegetables.

Selenium protects the body against oxidative stress and has the ability to regulate thyroid hormones. Selenium in combination with antioxidants seems to improve sperm count, motility, and morphology (the shape of your sperm) [1][7].

Primary natural sources: Seafood, meat, dairy products, nuts, mushrooms, whole grains.

Zinc is a trace mineral with a key role in testicular development, testosterone production, and hormonal function.

Zinc therapy with only zinc or in combination with other nutrients seems to increase sperm motility and concentration [8][9].

Primary natural sources: Meat, poultry, shellfish, legumes, mushrooms, whole grains.

Eggs benedict

Omega-3 fatty acids: are a category of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which we primarily find in fish oils. They are a key component to a healthy diet since they are able to inhibit oxidative reactions in the body.

The intake of omega-3 fatty acids enhanced sperm count, motility, and morphology in two studies of oligospermic (low sperm count) men [3][10].

Primary natural sources: Fatty fish, shellfish, seeds, legumes, whole grains.

Carnitines: derive from the synthesis of the amino acids lysine and methionine and they are responsible for transporting long-chain fatty acids into the cells.

Carnitines assist sperm metabolism as an energy source for spermatozoa and affect motility and sperm maturation. They also act as antioxidants protecting spermatozoa against oxidation. The two main forms are L-carnitine (LC) and L-acetyl-carnitine (LAC).

Supplementation with LC and LAC has furthermore shown improvement in motility and morphology of sub-fertile men [11][12].

Primary natural sources: Meat, fish, shellfish.

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone): is a fat-soluble micronutrient that plays a key role in transporting electrons in the cells. It has the ability to stabilize and protect the cell membranes from oxidative stress, acting as an antioxidant within the male reproductive system.

CoQ10 is also an important ingredient in promoting energy within the midpiece of the sperm and can be directly correlated with sperm count and motility [13][14]

Primary natural sources: Oysters, beef liver, broccoli, avocado.

Nutritional balance and fertility status

The human body is a complex system that needs numerous nutrients to sustain life and promote your well-being. Therefore, a well-balanced diet, coming primarily from a variety of different food products, is vital to ensure we maintain the normal functioning of our body.

If the selection of the right food combinations seems like a complicated task, you can read our article about The top 20 fertility foods and start changing your eating habits today.

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Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.


Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.


Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.


Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  


A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.


Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.