You’ve likely already heard that omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining heart health and good cholesterol levels. But did you also know that they can boost male fertility? Recent studies have shown that men who struggle with infertility tend to have lower levels of omega-3. Researchers have found that increasing the amount of omega-3 in your diet can result in stronger, higher-quality sperm. For men looking to improve their fertility, increasing their omega-3 level can be one step towards a solution.
How Does Omega-3 Improve Fertility?
There are two particularly important kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexnoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), both of which are found in fish sources. DHA is the one that has a positive effect on male fertility. A study at the University of Illinois found that DHA plays a central role in sperm formation. Healthy sperm have a pointed structure at the top called an acrosome. This structure functions much like a sharp hat, enabling the sperm to pierce through the egg’s outer layers. The acrosome also contains a collection of enzymes that helps the sperm to fertilize the egg. DHA is essential to building these acrosomes. Without DHA, sperm remain round at the top and lack those crucial enzymes. For this reason, not getting enough omega-3 can result in weaker sperm. And that will have a harder time fertilizing the egg.
How Can You Get More Omega-3?
Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in oily fish, including salmon, sardines, anchovies, bluefish, herring, tuna, and mackerel. You can boost your level of omega-3 by eating these 2-3 times a week. Because omega-3s are so good for you, you’ll benefit your health in other ways, too. If you don’t love fish, you can get up your omega-3 intake by taking a supplement. Either a direct fish oil supplement or a pill derived from fish. If you’re shopping for supplements, you’ll likely see omega-3 supplements made from plant sources such as flaxseed oil, walnuts, soybean oil, and canola oil. Unfortunately, these plant sources are not a good source of DHA, the specific kind of omega-3 needed to build strong sperm.
Part of a Larger Strategy
Keep in mind that omega-3 is not a magic cure to infertility. Unless you have undergone a blood test that shows low levels of omega-3, it’s hard to know if that’s what’s solving the problem. Taking an omega-3 supplement is a good way to improve your chances of strong, fertile sperm. However, this supplementation works best when performed alongside other fertility-friendly steps. For example – maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthily, exercising, avoiding smoking and heavy drinking, wearing loose undergarments, and consulting with your doctor. By taking a well-rounded approach, you can be confident that you’re doing everything in your power to improve your odds of conception.
Fertility support is an essential part of conception, whether you are just starting out or have been trying for some time. Regular lubricants are proven to have negative effects on the fertilization process and should be avoided when you are trying to conceive.
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