· Folic Acid - It is well known that folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects in babies. This supplement should be taken well in advance of trying to conceive, as well as during the pregnancy to protect the baby from defects like spina bifida. Additionally, folic acid is part of the B-complex family of vitamins that are important and necessary to production of the genetic materials DNA and RNA. It works together with vitamin B-12 to make sure the baby's genetic codes are intact. Folic acid is good, but it is important to take all of the B vitamins. Research shows vitamin B6 is effect for increasing fertility in women and B12 improves sperm counts in men.
· Zinc - Probably the most widely studied nutrient in terms of fertility for men and women, zinc is essential to genetic material development. A deficiency of zinc can cause chromosome changes in you or your partner leading to decreased fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage. Zinc affect estrogen and progesterone, the pregnancy hormones and it is found in high concentration in sperm. A deficiency in zinc reduces a man's sperm count and sperm development.
· Selenium - This antioxidant protects against free radicals and thus prevents chromosome breakdown, which is a known cause of birth defects and miscarriages. Sperm formation is affected positively by selenium and low sperm counts are often found in men who are selenium deficient.
· Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) - EFAs affect every part of the body and they are vital for healthy hormone performance. The prostaglandins in semen are produced from EFAs. Poor sperm quality, abnormal sperm, poor motility and low sperm count are all affected by inadequate levels of prostaglandins.
· Vitamin E - Another powerful antioxidant that has been shown to enhance IVF treatment in men, increasing fertilization rates by 10 percent, from 19 percent to 29 percent. It is suggested that the antioxidant activity might make sperm more fertile.
· Vitamin C - Yet another antioxidant has research to back up the claims that it enhances sperm quality as it protects sperm and the DNA within it from damage. DNA damage can affect conception and cause an increase in miscarriage.
· L-Arginine - An amino acid found in abundance in the head of the sperm. It is essential for sperm production and using it can help increase sperm count and quality.
· L-Carnitine - Another amino acid necessary for normal function of sperm cells. High levels of this amino provide enhanced sperm count and motility.
· Vitamin A - This vitamin has important antioxidant properties that are healthy for eyes and prevents birth defects that affect the eyes. When it is in the form of retinol, it is problematic and cause problems. Taken in the form of beta-carotene (vegetable form) it is healthy and does not carry risks.
By making some serious changes in vitamin and mineral intake, it is possible to improve the quality of the sperm, enhance egg production and increase your chances for a natural conception.
Infertility is a difficult condition. If you find yourself in that place and want to explore natural ways of dealing with it, be sure to check out the articles in this section.