Diet improves the older man's sperm quality

old man

A healthy intake of micronutrients is strongly associated with improved sperm DNA quality in older men. The same cannot be said for younger men who do not benefit from a higher intake of micronutrient.

Micronutrients turn back the clock

“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 Andy Wyrobek of Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division.

Increase C, E, zinc and folate

In a study of 80 healthy male volunteers between the ages of 22 and 80, researchers found that men older than 44 who consumed the most vitamin C had 20% less genetic sperm damage compared to those of the same age who consumed the least C. Similar results were found for vitamin E, zinc and folate.

“This means that men who are at increased risk of sperm DNA damage because of advancing age can do something about it. They can make sure they get enough vitamins and micronutrients in their diets or through supplements,” explained Wyrobek.

Diet helps men delaying fatherhood

More and more fathers are delaying parenthood. Previous research has shown that the older the man is the more likely he is to have DNA strand damage in his sperm. This includes DNA fragmentation and chromosomal rearrangements. They are also more likely to have gene mutations like those that lead to dwarfism. Until this study scientists were unsure if diet could have an impact.

“The different response of the old and young men presents new opportunities for health care, especially for older men planning families,” Wyrobek concluded.

Source: Fertility and Sterility, MedicalNewsToday


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