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Fertility Problems and Vitamin C

May 21, 2008
The roll of Vitamin C has been recognised as an essential part of normal fertility in men and women and as such is hardly one of nature's fertility secrets. The effects are due to Vitamin C's roll as antioxidant as well as playing part in certain biochemical reactions resulting in normal sperm function.

It is well known that that a Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy with symptoms of bruising easily, bleeding gums and hair loss and used to affect sailors who were out to sea for months. This situation is easily prevented by taking foods high in Vitamin C such as red and green peppers, oranges, grapefruit juice, broccoli, apple juice, strawberries etc.

As a fertility aid and apart from eating foods rich in Vitamin C, a further supplementation of 1000mg daily is recommended. As an antioxidant Vitamin C helps to prevent damage to DNA within sperm, which could be a reason for infertility or early miscarriage.

In 1941 researchers discovered that Vitamin C concentration in a man's testis was 20 times higher than in blood. A few years later it was noted that a majority of infertile males exhibited a low testicular Vitamin C level. It has since been learned that the stickiness of sperm was one of the important causes of male infertility and that Vitamin C improved the process of making sperm less sticky.

In one study, 30 infertile men were given 1000 mg of vitamin C daily, or a placebo. They were then tested for sperm count, motility, abnormality and immaturity. After a week, the supplemented group showed a 140% increase in sperm count, whereas the placebo group showed no change. By the end of 2 months, all of the vitamin supplemented men had impregnated their wives. The study concluded that vitamin C can be effective at treating male infertility.

Vitamin C improves overall sperm quality by increasing sperm volume, count and mobility and reduces the number of abnormal sperm and their stickiness. This is however not the only factor in male infertility as other Vitamins and minerals may also play an important role.

In a study of hundred and fifty women suffering from infertility due to luteal phase defect (abnormal hormone levels as measured in the phase between ovulation and menstruation), levels of estrogen and progesterone were monitored for three menstrual cycles. The participants were randomly prescribed 750 mg of Vitamin C per day or no treatment during this phase.

Progesterone and estrogen increased significantly in women receiving Vitamin C, but not in the untreated group. Moreover there was a significantly higher pregnancy rate in the Vitamin C group within 6 months of starting the treatment.

The results of this preliminary study suggest that Vitamin C improves hormone levels and increases fertility in some women with luteal phase defect. This is an important finding although further controlled trials are needed to confirm the benefits and amount of Vitamin C required

Vitamin C has also been found to help women taking the fertility drug Clomiphene, increasing their chances of conceiving.

It is recommended that 1000 mg of Vitamin C is included in any recipe of so called natural fertility secrets as a supplement for any woman trying to become pregnant.
About the Author
Adam Engelbrecht is a medical professional with a special interest in womens health issues. Read more about infertility problems and how to deal with them on our website
http://www.femhealthbliss.com/fertilitysecrets.php
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