Vitamin D Improves Sperm Movement
Vitamin D has been linked to many health benefits, and now one more may be added to the list. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen report that vitamin D increased sperm movement in the laboratory, a finding one of the scientists called “intriguing.”
How are sperm and vitamin D connected?
According to Martin Blomberg Jensen from Copenhagen University Hospital, the discovery is intriguing “because it suggests that vitamin D has an effect on sperm movement and function.” Although it is too early to know whether taking vitamin D supplements may improve the quality of sperm in infertile men, Jensen noted that it is one study among others “indicating that vitamin D is necessary for male reproduction.”
The study involved evaluation of sperm samples from 300 normal men and showed a positive association between the percentage of motile (moving forward) sperm and vitamin D levels in serum. Researchers also demonstrated that the use of activated vitamin D can increase sperm motility.
This study is important because it adds to the body of knowledge that is looking for answers about male infertility. Among couples who are having trouble getting pregnant, male infertility accounts for 40 to 50 percent of the difficulty.
Male infertility can be caused by low sperm production, misshapen or immobile sperm, or blockages that prevent sperm delivery. Other factors may include chronic health problems, hormone imbalances, exposure to pesticides or chemicals, overheating the testicles, smoking, alcohol abuse, and vitamin deficiencies.
Professor Anders Juul from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen University Hospital noted that while low semen quality often has fetal origins, “this study indicates that factors in adult life may also play a role for semen quality.” Although he indicated that low semen quality is low among Danish men, male infertility is a problem in many areas of the world.
This study indicated that vitamin D can improve sperm movement in a laboratory setting, but it is too early to know whether supplements could have the same impact. The study’s authors noted the need for further investigations and placebo-controlled trials to determine whether vitamin D supplements can help infertile men.
University of Copenhagen