Vitamin D whips sperm into speed demons

vitamin D whippin sperm into shapeFor a sperm, it is a long and arduous swim through the cervix, to the top of the uterus and down the fallopian tube to claim the prize. The distance may seem small when measured with a ruler, but when you’re microscopic in size – a few centimetres is the equivalent of a marathon.

Only the strong make it to the finish line.

There is only one winner. The competition is fierce – a billion or more typically line up at the start gate. The sperm that reaches the egg first, drills into the thick wall and caboom fuses with the nucleus of the egg, to create a zygote . A brand new, unique individual carrying the genetic package is created.

There is no silver medal in the sperm race. It’s first or nothing.

But lots of men are producing sperm, that are in such poor shape, they can’t go the distance to claim the prize.

Vitamin D the energy tonic for unfit human sperm

For years, science has documented a connection between vitamin D and reproductive capacity in animals. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have recently confirmed that human reproduction, is also associated with vitamin D levels.

The Danish study compared the quality of sperm with vitamin D levels in 300 normal men. The study showed that serum vitamin D levels correlated with the sperm motility (a measure of sperm quality). Men with higher vitamin D levels, had better movers and shakers.

Vitamin D improved sperm performance in the lab

The researchers decided to spike petri dishes, holding human spermatozoa, with a little vitamin D. The presence of vitamin D, whipped the sperm into shape – propelling them forward.

The researchers concluded that vitamin D it having an effect on sperm movement and function, but were quick to caution that these findings need to be verified, before vitamin D is marketed as a sperm performance enhancer.

Male fertility treatment options

Low semen quality can be caused by both genetic as well as environmental factors. Currently there is no official medical treatment which improves semen quality.

Standard advice includes

  • Keeping the sperm factory well ventilated by keeping testicles cool and loose
  • Following a healthy lifestyle i.e.
    • eat right,
    • exercise,
    • don’t smoke or drink too much and
    • get 8 hours a sleep
  • Manage the stress levels

Churning out winning sperm

Report after report suggests most of us don’t get enough vitamin D.

Based on the results from this study, it might be worth adding a dose of vitamin D to the list of dos if you’re battling to “get pregnant”.

A dose of vitamin D, might just whip the boys into a frenzy and give them the get up and go to win the BIG race and claim the all important prize. And even if the little guys still fall flat, the rest of the body will appreciate the vitamin D boost.

Vitamin D is positively associated with sperm motility and increases intracellular calcium in human spermatozoa. Human Reproduction (2011)  26(6) : 1307-1317.  M. Blomberg Jensen, P. J. Bjerrum, T. E. Jessen, J. E. Nielsen, U. N. Joensen, I. A. Olesen, J. H. Petersen, A. Juul, S. Dissing, N. Jorgensen.


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Further reading

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