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male fertility: the sperm microbiome

male fertility: the sperm microbiome

photo by Stefan Spassov on Unsplash

male fertility: the sperm microbiome

If you’ve been part of my community for a while, you probably noticed that the majority of what I share is in the female hormone and fertility health space …

BUT

It takes two to tango, ya know? And there’s all kinds of great info on male fertility out there, so today I’m introducing you to the world of the seminal microbiome.

Bookmark this page, grab your man, and let’s dig deep into his world for a minute.

microbial flora

I’m a big fan of healing your body and preparing for conception through your gut. The reason is that your body’s microbial flora is made up of a complex, interconnected ecosystem that relies on maintaining equilibrium in their specific environments, and probiotics can help your body keep that equilibrium going. In exchange, your body’s microbes perform specific functions to keep your body healthy.

In fewer words: your microbial flora is connected to every single system in your body. Happy ‘n healthy microbiota leads to a happy ‘n healthy body.

And keeping your microbiota healthy—digestive, skin, oral, genital, etc.—is huge in improving your fertility health.

Studies are beginning to show how important healthy microbiota are for men’s fertility health too. In fact, we now know that the seminal microbiome—an “ecosystem of bacteria found in semen” has WAY more to do with sperm health and fertility than we initially thought.

the science

In a recent study, semen samples were collected from 96 men. They were examined for bacterial communities, and then checked for quality—measured for volume, sperm concentration, motility, morphology, etc. The results of this study were fascinating—basically, the different types of bacteria communities found were “highly associated with semen health.”

There’s more—in another study, men with certain types of bacteria in their seminal microbiomes, like Lactobacillus, tended to have higher sperm counts and much healthier sperm. Another type of bacteria, L. reuteri, was associated with both increased sperm count and testicular mass.

The same goes for less beneficial bacteria—when strains like P. acnes got out of control, they affected sperm cell production, and even “appeared to change the physiology of female partners’ reproductive tracts to make them less conducive to conception.”

So, how can you make sure you’ve got the best possible bacterial environment for your sperm?

Well, because all of our microbial ecosystems are interconnected—your skin microbiome impacts your oral microbiome, which impacts your digestive microbiome, which impacts your genital microbiome, etc.—you need to make sure that all of your microbial ecosystems have a healthy environment to live and thrive in.

The takeaway? Diet and lifestyle play a critical role in sperm health.

If you wanna to keep your boys plentiful and swimming strong, keep reading for my top nutrition, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations to create the best possible environment for your seminal microbiome!

nutrition

First, as always, focus on eating real, whole, fresh, organic food that you cook yourself. Every day, eat high-quality organic protein, clean and healthy fat sources, a variety of organic fruit and vegetables, lots of greens, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, properly fermented yogurt or kefir, etc.

When possible, choose organic, local and in-season! I always tell my clients to purchase the highest quality of food you can find and afford.

what your daily meals should look like

A serving of kimchi, sauerkraut, and naturally fermented pickles, or a fermented beverage like kefir water or kombucha. Make sure your fermented vegetables are refrigerated and do not contain preservatives or vinegar.

and

A serving of high-quality protein such as 100% grass-fed beef, lamb, bison; wild-caught fish or seafood; organic, pasture-raised chicken, turkey, duck, pork, or eggs. Whenever possible, purchase the highest quality organic protein you can afford.

and

A small amount of clean, organic fat from either coconut oil, grass-fed butter, cultured ghee, avocados, olive oil and/or raw nuts and seeds.

and

Several servings of colorful, varied organic greens and vegetables, served raw, steamed, or lightly sauteed.

and

A small serving of in-season fruit like blueberries, raspberries, apricots, cantaloupe, or plums.

and

At least one large mug of organic bone broth.

supplements

First and foremost—take your probiotics! Your microbial ecosystem needs all the help it can get to stay balanced.

Here’s my favorite probiotic – Probiospore. Start with 1 capsule daily and work up to 2 capsules daily over a 7 day period. Continue on 2 capsules per day.

The following supplements are used specifically to optimize sperm health, quality, and volume. Each of these has been researched for specific use in normalizing sperm number, motility, morphology, and more.

GPC Liquid: 2 droppers full directly in mouth daily.

Vitamin D Supreme: 1 capsule, daily with a meal (along with a healthy fat).

Complete Multi: 2 capsules, three times per day with meals. This is a full-spectrum multivitamin with Albion chelated minerals for maximum absorption and bioavailability. This powerhouse multivitamin supplies supporting nutrients not normally found in regular multis, such as alpha lipoic acid, TMG, fruit bioflavonoids, choline, and inositol. This formula also contains vitamin E, high levels of all B vitamins, and natural mixed carotenoids.

Omega TG1000: 2 capsules per day with meals. OmegAvail TG1000 uses the latest innovation in omega-3 EPA/DHA technology to ensure superior quality, purity, and absorption. Essential fatty acids ensure a healthy sperm membrane, which is required for proper sperm maturation. Omega 3’s also improved sperm count significantly.

Detox Antiox: 2 capsules per day with meals. Detox Antiox synergistically combines many nutrients that have a positive effect on sperm health, including zinc, vitamin C, E, selenium, and other potent antioxidants. Adequate zinc intake is important for the creation of the outer membrane and tail of a sperm. Sperm utilize zinc for maturation, mobility, and strength. Zinc is also necessary for hormone balance. Selenium is necessary for proper sperm formation. This formula also contains multiple ingredients known to raise glutathione levels making it helpful for protecting delicate sperm cells. It also combats free radicals and helps detoxify harmful chemicals including heavy metals. L-Leucine when taken with NAC prevents mercury from being reabsorbed into the central nervous system.

CoQnol Ubiquinol 100mg: 1 capsule per day with meals. CoQnol contains ubiquinol, the reduced, antioxidant form of CoQ10. As an antioxidant, coQ10 increases fertility, especially in men. CoQ10 improves sperm motility and is especially useful for men with poor sperm quality. CoQ10 is necessary for a healthy sperm cell membrane and energy (forward movement). It is also protective of sperm cells and protects the important genetic codes they carry (DNA) for the creation of a healthy child.

Arginine: Researchers have discovered that Arginine regulates nitric oxide, a powerful compound in the blood responsible for regulating blood flow, immune function, communication among nerve cells, liver function, blood clotting, and even sexual arousal. Arginine acts as a natural Viagra – improving erectile function and increasing the quantity of sperm (by up to 250%). Arginine also improves sperm motility & health.

Carnitine Synergy: 2 capsules per day. L-Carnitine is an amino acid responsible for shuttling omega fatty acids. It has been shown to help normalize sperm motility in men with low sperm quality, while helping sperm metabolize fats and sugars for energy. L-Carnitine is also vital for the formation of sperm cells – it stimulates the natural production of sperm, and the higher the sperm-cell count, the higher the chances for fertilization. Not only does L-Carnitine increases sperm levels, but it also enhances the sperm’s motility and improves the health of the sperm cells. It is believed that this supplement can be particularly efficient for the treatment of age-related infertility in men.

Carnitine powder: 1 tsp daily, on empty stomach.

avoid toxins

Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDC) found in synthetic chemicals, like phthalates, mimic estrogen in the body and can have a negative impact on hormonal balance, which, in turn, can make your body a less-than-hospitable environment for healthy microbes. Even if you work hard to maintain a perfect seminal ecosystem, EDCs can still cause a decline in testosterone and therefore affect the quality of your sperm.

to reduce your exposure to EDCs:

  • only eat organic animal products and aim to purchase at least the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables organic
  • eliminate dairy products
  • drink purified, filtered water only, do not drink tap water and definitely don’t drink water out of plastic bottles – plastic is a major source of EDCs
  • eliminate toxic household cleaners
  • eliminate toxic body care and skincare products

in a nutshell

Studies are beginning to show how important healthy microbiota are for men’s fertility health too. In fact, we now know that the seminal microbiome—an “ecosystem of bacteria found in semen” has WAY more to do with sperm health and fertility than we initially thought.

All of our microbial ecosystems are interconnected—your skin microbiome impacts your oral microbiome, which impacts your digestive microbiome, which impacts your genital microbiome, etc.—you need to make sure that all of your microbial ecosystems have a healthy environment to live and thrive in to optimize sperm health.

Diet and lifestyle play a critical role in sperm health. Nutrition, supplement, and lifestyle changes will help create the best possible environment for your seminal microbiome.

more resources

male fertility: why it’s important and how to optimize it

let’s connect

Looking for a little more direction to make sure your sperm are in tip top shape? Let’s get a free 15-minute discovery call on the books to see how we can work together!

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