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The effect of micronutrient supplements on male fertility

Buhling, Kai J.a; Laakmann, Elenab

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 199–209
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000063
FERTILITY: Edited by Aydin Arici

Purpose of review To describe the beneficial effects of micronutrient supplementation on male fertility.

Recent findings Several micronutrients have beneficial effects on sperm quality, as well on male fertility (e.g. pregnancy rate). A deliberate use of micronutrients might be helpful for infertile patients. Healthcare providers should be aware that supplements contain the studied dose.

Summary Male sterility is becoming increasingly important because of various factors. In addition to the avoidable risk factors (alcohol and smoking), unchangeable factors are also likely involved in the genesis. Modern reproductive medicine methods help resulting in decent pregnancy rates in subfertile men. However, in addition to reproductive medicine methods, factors other than cessation of smoking and alcohol consumption can influence the fertility of men. Several studies have reported a significant increase in sperm quality and pregnancy rates when the men were supplemented by specific vitamins and micronutrients.

The present review gives an overview of the study results and discusses specific legal requirements (e.g. ‘upper limits’).

aDepartment of Gynecological Endocrinology

bClinic for Gynecology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

Correspondence to Dr Kai J. Buhling, MD, Professor for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Head of Department for Gynecological Endocrinology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. Tel: +49 40 7410 23801; fax: +49 40 7410 47283; e-mail:

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