Nutrition plays a key role in fertility. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking the proper supplements can improve fertility for both men and women.

Female Fertility Supplements

Recommended for all:

  1. A healthy diet with fruits (especially berries) and vegetables, less red meat and no trans fats (doughnuts, French pastries, fried foods). Use olive oil for cooking and salads. Avocados and nuts are also good sources of monounsaturated fat.
  2. Omega-3’s (fish oil) 500-1,000 mg daily

For women over age 37, add to the above:

  1. Increase antioxidants—500-1,000 mg vitamin C, 200 IU vitamin E (*** do not take vitamin E if you are taking baby aspirin), decaf green tea (1 cup per day); consider adding pycnogenol, 40-60 mg twice daily (this may replace or be added to the other antioxidants already mentioned).
  2. Take 400 micrograms of folic acid; at least that amount is usually in all prenatal vitamins and multivitamins.
  3. Consider adding 1-2 gm of L-arginine if your protein intake is low.
  4. A small amount of vitamin C added to green tea aids absorption of antioxidants.

Male fertility supplements

Recommended for all:

  1. A healthy diet with fruits (especially berries) and vegetables, less red meat and no trans fats (doughnuts, French pastries, fried foods)
  2. Omega-3’s (fish oil) 500-1,000 mg daily

For men over age 40 and/or with abnormal semen (low count, motility, and/or morphology) add to the above:

  1. Increase antioxidants—500-1,000 mg vitamin C, 200 IU vitamin E, green tea (1-3 cups per day); consider adding pycnogenol, 40-60 mg twice daily (this may replace or be added to the other antioxidants already mentioned).
  2. Consider increasing omega-3’s to 1,000 to 2,000 mg. In one study of 1840 mg for 8 months all semen parameters improved, particularly strict morphology.
  3. Consider adding folic acid, 400 micrograms and zinc, 15-30 mg per day as some studies have shown benefits for sperm. These are in many multivitamins.
  4. Consider adding 2 gm of L-citrulline (may enhance blood flow to the testicles).
  5. Dark chocolate is another strong antioxidant—use a low sugar brand.
  6. A small amount of vitamin C added to green tea aids absorption of antioxidants.
  7. Consider adding Co-enzyme Q-10, 200 mg twice daily. In one study it stimulated sperm motility.

Adapted from Lifestyle and Fertility by Dr. David Meldrum at www.lifechoicesandfertility.com.