Natural remedies for male infertility: CoQ10 and L-carnitine found to improve sperm health
07/07/2019 // Tracey Watson // Views

Wanting to have a baby is the most natural desire in the world. For many, fulfilling that desire is as simple as trying to conceive for a few months, falling pregnant, and delivering a healthy baby nine months later. For millions of other couples, however, the quest to have a baby of their own can be a soul-destroying one that results in heartache, depression and stress.

When a couple is unable to conceive after a year or more of trying to do so, infertility is diagnosed and doctors often focus on potential reproductive issues in the female partner. Statistics indicate, however, that between 40 and 50 percent of all reproductive problems actually originate with the man. Low sperm concentration, poor sperm motility and other issues related to sperm quality are often at the root of these issues.

Fortunately, there are natural supplements that have been found to improve sperm health. A meta-analysis of 61 studies, which considered the effects of supplementation with pharmaceutical drugs or nutrients like coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine, found that all of these “appear to improve semen parameters.”

The analysis was conducted by researchers from the University of Aberdeen and published in the journal European Urology.

Improving sperm health

Commenting on the review, Reuters explained:

[The researchers] looked for improvements in three things that can make conception more likely: sperm concentration, or the amount of sperm released when men ejaculate; sperm morphology, or the number of sperm in the ideal size and shape with an oval head and a long tail; and motility, or the ability of sperm to move through the female reproductive tract to reach an egg.


Dr. Muhammad Imran Omar, the study’s senior author, noted that several medical treatments and nutritional supplements were found to improve semen quality in these various ways. He noted, however, that limitations in the studies reviewed made it impossible to determine conclusively whether improvements in sperm quality eventually resulted in pregnancies and live births.

Two of the nutritional supplements included in the review were Coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine.

Coenzyme Q10 and reproductive health

Healthline explains that sperm is susceptible to oxidative damage, which can result in low sperm count, poor sperm quality, and ultimately, infertility.

A number of studies have found, however, that Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) fights against oxidative damage, improving sperm quality in the process.

Interestingly, studies indicate that supplementation with CoQ10 can also reverse age-related decline in quality and quantity of eggs in women trying to conceive. (Related: The vital importance of Coenzyme Q10 for health and longevity.)

The link between L-Carnitine and fertility

Studies have found that L-Carnitine – a nutrient which plays a vital role in the production of energy by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells – enhances male fertility.

Natural Fertility Info explains:

L-Carnitine is necessary to shuttle fatty acids across the cells’ mitochondrial membrane. The mitochondria are responsible for creating, sustaining, and managing cellular energy. The mitochondria use fatty acids to burn as fuel for creating cellular energy, also known as Adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Being that the body is made up of cells, L-Carnitine is very important to energy, stamina, and cellular function.

Also considered a potent antioxidant, L-Carnitine has been reported to increase sperm health by providing the protection the body needs to counteract free radical damage. Sperm cells are highly susceptible to damage from free radicals. Antioxidants protect cellular health, including the health of a man’s sperm and the DNA contained within each sperm.

Of course, improving sperm health may not be enough in itself to ensure conception. It may also be necessary to consider female infertility issues, and in some cases, consider getting psychological help. (Related: Antioxidants offer natural help for men who are infertile.)

Nonetheless, as noted by Dr. Allan Pacey, an andrology researcher at the University of Sheffield, “It is a logical assumption that if sperm quality is improved that more babies will follow.”

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