Male-Optimize: all the benefits of natural ingredients in one single pill to help support Male Fertility

Posted By Braverman IVF & Reproductive Immunology || 05-June-2018

Male-Optimize is the latest product of our dietary supplement range. It contains a cocktail of vitamins (A+B9+C+D+E, minerals and key ingredients with proven benefits to help reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and help improve your semen quality!)

Male-Optimize is now available for purchase online.

As world leader in the field of Reproductive Immunology, we have, at Braverman Reproductive Immunology, developed a male dietary supplement “The Male-Optimize” containing many ingredients including vitamins, minerals, L-carnitine, papaya fruit, coenzyme Q10, with beneficial actions on reducing ROS and free-radicals’ production, reducing inflammation and enhancing sperm maturation, quantity and quality. 

In this blog, we will describe the many studies showing how the different ingredients used in our dietary supplement could positively impact your semen’s parameters and help improve your fertility.

1- Male-Optimize and its cocktail of Vitamins

Infertility is on the rise with 40–50% cases that are due to a “male factor” (1) and as many as 40% of men in the reproductive age group present a quantitative and qualitative decline in sperm (2). It has been shown that reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS) are involved in male infertility, causing peroxidative damage to the sperm plasma membrane and disrupting DNA integrity. Besides, avoidable risk factors (alcohol and smoking), simple lifestyle changes (e.g. dietary antioxidant supplements) may help minimize some of the deleterious effects that oxidative stress may have on spermatogenesis (semen production).

b- Vitamin A: potent scavenger of free radicals

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in the formation and function of membranes. By scavenging the fertility damaging free radicals, Vitamin A has been shown to play a key role in semen production (spermatogenesis) Indeed, men with normospermia have significantly higher retinol (vitamin A) levels in serum as well as in the seminal plasma than men with oligozoospermia (reduced number) and asthenozoospermia (reduced motility) as reported in a study (3). Interestingly, in vitro animal study (mice) have shown that Vitamin A exerts its benefits by decreasing nuclear alterations and DNA damage in round spermatid (developing spermatozoa) and by inducing sperm motility (4-5). Further, Vitamin A initiates meiosis (gamete development) and the wave of spermatozoa production as recently reviewed (6).

b-Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) and Zinc: the right combo to boost your sperm quality

Folate is a vitamin found in green vegetables, cereals and potatoes. In association with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, folate decreases the level of homocysteine responsible for protein damage. Folate is essential to DNA synthesis and to methylation, a process that regulate gene expression. Most of men (up to 80%) have a folate intake below the recommended range (7). In combination with zinc, folic acid supplementation has been showed to increase sperm count by 74% (8)! This was later confirmed in a review including six meta-analysis (9). Interestingly, a study showed that men with higher folate intake had lower frequencies of sperm aneuploidy (abnormal) as compared with men with lower intake (10). Zinc is essential in spermatogenesis, being the cofactor of many enzymes (11). Further, it supports the absorption and metabolism of folic acid (12). Supplementation with Zinc only improved sperm concentration in subfertile males with idiopathic asthenozoospermia or oligozoospermia (13, 14). Having both zinc+ folic acid in our supplement Male-Optimize may potentiate their beneficial effects on sperm quality.

c- Vitamin C

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a powerful antioxidant, present in seminal plasma (secretion supporting sperm motility and survival). Its level correlates with the percentage of spermatozoa with normal morphology (15). Counteracting sperm oxidative damage (inducing alteration in the DNA and leading to infertility), the benefits of Vitamin C on sperm quality have been shown in smokers (16-17). Vitamin C also helps to increase male fertility in male with sperm agglutination (18). Vitamin C supplementation (2g/day for 2 months) in men with low sperm count (19) significantly improve:

  • sperm count that doubles
  • sperm motility that doubles
  • sperm morphology that increases by +55% Moreover, Vitamin C may improve semen parameters (better sperm motility and normal morphology) in men undergoing varicocele surgery, after taking Vitamin C for 3 months at 500mg per day (20).

    d- Vitamin D3: enhancer of your sperm motility and quality for better chances to conceive

    Vitamin D plays a key role in the male reproductive physiology. Vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D are present in testis (21), male reproductive tract and human spermatozoa (22). Their expression levels in human spermatozoa serve as positive predictive markers of semen quality (23), as this triggers an increase in intracellular calcium concentration that induces sperm motility. In a study investigating human sperms, Vitamin D influences cholesterol efflux, protein phosphorylation, and increased sperm survival (24).

    Further, another study demonstrated that the Vitamin D signaling pathway induces the acquisition of fertilizing ability (acrosome reaction that allows the sperm to attach to the egg) in human sperm (25). The association of Vitamin D level and semen quality has been assessed in 300 men and showed that men with vitamin D deficiency (<10 ng/ml) had a lower proportion of motile and morphologically normal spermatozoa compared with men with sufficient vitamin D status (>30 ng/ml). Vitamin D levels have been positively associated with testosterone levels (26) and in vitro studies suggest that vitamin D plays a major role in male steroidogenesis (27). This was confirmed in non-diabetic males treated with vitamin D for one year and compared to a placebo group (28) with:

  • a significant increase in total testosterone levels (+25%)
  • -a significant increase in bioactive testosterone (+20%)
  • a significant increase in free testosterone levels (+20%)

    Most importantly, lower pregnancy rates have been associated with low serum levels of vitamin D in male when ovulation induction and timed intercourse have been used as a treatment for infertile couples (29). Strikingly, Vitamin D supplementation in infertile men for a period of 150 days triples the chances of having a spontaneous pregnancy (7.3% in the Vitamin D supplemented group versus 2.4% for the placebo group). When considering, oligozoospermic male (low sperm concentration), chances for a live birth doubles (35.6% in the Vitamin D supplemented group versus 18.3% for the placebo group (30).

    e- Vitamin E Vitamin E brings potent beneficial effects on spermatogenesis and sperm quality. A study where men with low count sperm and low motility (oligoasthenozoopsermia) were placed on 400mg Vitamin E for 6 months (31) showed:

  • improvement in sperm count: +8%
  • improvement in sperm motility: +30% Further, Vitamin E supplementation in men inhibits lipid peroxidation and scavenges free radicals that cause DNA damage. As a result, Vitamin E improves sperm motility by 60% when taking for six months at 300mg a day (32)! Vitamin E can also help preserve sperm motility and prevent DNA damage during the freeze-thaw process (33).

    2- Papaya fruit, Lactoferrin and beta-glucan: a great anti-oxidant/anti-inflammation combo to improve male fertility

    Papaya fruit has potent effects against peroxidation and against the detrimental effects of free radicals on DNA (34-35). Papaya fruit contains vitamins and amino acids, when fermented as in our Male-Optimize supplement, its immune-modulating activity is even increased (36).

    Lactoferrin is a protein found in milk and some of human glands secretion. Besides its anti-microbial properties, it is also a powerful antioxidant and a modulator of the immune system (37).

    Beta-glucan is a sugar extracted from yeast cell walls and has immune-stimulating properties. It supports natural defenses against viral infections, bacteria, fungi, parasites and neoplastic cells, and stimulates tissue repair (38-39). In a study (40), including infertile patients with asthenoteratozoospermia (low motility, high rate of abnormal sperm) and leucocytosis (inflammation), the treatment with beta-glucan, lactoferrin and papaya for 90 days improved sperm parameters after three months as compared to controls (treated with placebo).

    After 3 months on this regimen, there was an:

  • increased percentage of morphologically normal sperm: +75%
  • Increased motility: +83%
  • Improvement in chromatin integrity
  • Decrease in leucocyte concentration: -60%.

    Our Male-Optimize supplement by combining these three ingredients, may have a double action on the immune and inflammatory responses and on the semen’s oxidant status, which may help to get better sperm parameters and may increase your chance of conceiving.

    3- Co-Enzyme Q10: a natural booster of male fertility Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that you naturally produce and that fuels your cells’ growth and activity. It is synthesized in testis (41) and its reduced form, ubiquinol, is present in sperm (42).

    CoQ10 is an essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain involved in energy (ATP) production (43), further it has critical anti-oxidant properties (44) by inhibiting lipid peroxidation and DNA oxidation.

    Reduced levels of CoQ10 and ubiquinol have been shown in seminal plasma and sperm cells of infertile men with varicocele-associated asthenozoospermia (45) suggesting a role of an impaired anti-oxidant status in the pathology.

    CoQ10 administration, in male with asthenozoospermia, at 200mg/day for six months, results in CoQ10 and ubiquinol increased levels in seminal plasma and in spermatozoa (46). Further, it induces a significant increase in sperm motility of about +50%.

    In another study (47), infertile men treated with similar dose of CoQ10 for 3 months had:

  • higher CoQ10 and ubiquinol seminal plasma levels
  • higher sperm motility
  • higher catalase and superoxide dismutase levels, two enzymes involved in the defense against ROS
  • decrease of plasma 8-isoprostane concentrations, a marker of oxidative stress

    CoQ10 improves the semen of infertile men by significantly decreasing oxidative stress in seminal plasma and improving anti-oxidant enzyme levels, thus leading to increased levels of sperm motility. Included in our Male-Optimize supplement, CoQ10 is a good asset to help improve your fertility.

    4.- Masson Pine Bark extract: a super anti-oxidant Pycnogenol® (PYC) is a plant extract obtained from the bark of the French maritime pine Pinus pinaster. It has a strong antioxidant activity and is used as a phytochemical remedy for various diseases.

    In Vitro study in human lymphocytes showed its potent anti-oxidant potential as well as its abilities to reduce DNA damage and chromosome breakage induced by chemicals (48). Pycnogenol has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic effects (49) by inhibiting Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzymatic activity (50), both involved in the inflammatory pathway. In a study (51), when subfertile men were given 200 mg Pycnogenol daily orally for 90-day, sperm morphology was significantly improved (+38%) and semen function was also increased (+19%).

    5. Selenium and N acetyl L cysteine: synergistic action for better effects on male fertility

    a- Selenium

    Involved in the development and maturation of the testes, selenium contributes to the protection of sperm DNA and cell membranes and is often used in addition to vitamin E (52). In addition, selenium supports sperm and testosterone biosynthesis (53). In a study including N= 690 infertile men with idiopathic asthenoteratospermia (abnormal morphology and motility) who received daily supplement of selenium (200 μg) in combination with vitamin E (400 IU) for at least 100 days, results showed a 52.6% improvement in sperm motility, morphology, or both, and 10.8% spontaneous pregnancy in comparison with no treatment (54).

    b- N acetyl L cysteine

    Cysteines are precursors of intracellular glutathione reductase (GSH), a potent enzyme that scavenges oxidants and prevents oxidative damage to the cell membrane and DNA (55). N-acetyl-L-cysteine maintains sperm motility potential (56) by:

  • boosting the amount of reducing agent produced (counteracting oxidation)
  • ridding the spermatozoa of free radicals (57)

    c- Selenium+ N acetyl L cysteine for optimal benefits Many studies have shown that supplementation with both selenium and cysteine significantly improves male fertility. Indeed, a study led in N= 468 infertile men with idiopathic oligo-asthenoteratospermia (low sperm count + abnormal sperm motility and abnormal morphology) showed significant improvement in semen parameters (58) with an increase in testosterone levels.

    6- L-Carnitine By neutralizing free radicals and acting as a source of energy, carnitine is involved in sperm motility, it assists free fatty acid utilization and prevents lipid oxidation (59). Further, carnitine protects the sperm DNA and membranes from oxidative damage and maintains the sperm viability (60). When administrated to infertile men at a dose of 2 g/day for 6 months, L-Carnitine improved sperm motility (61). Interestingly, another study reported nine pregnancies occurring in carnitine-treated patients during therapy (62).

    7- L-Arginine L-arginine is an amino acid present in body fluids (63) that plays a role in the maintenance of immune homeostasis (64-65). It is a precursor for the synthesis of proteins. It induces the production of nitric oxide (NO). While NO are reactive oxygen species (oxidative stress), it is essential in regulating sperm fertilization potential (66) with effects on sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction. NO also boosts energy production by the mitochondria which increases sperm motility (67).
    In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study (68), L arginine supplementation in subfertile men was shown to increase:

  • sperm volume
  • sperm concentration
  • sperm motility
  • sperm morphology by increasing NO levels through eNOS activity

    Oxidative stress is a major cause for male infertility. Its prevention and/or management is one of the main line of therapy to use to minimize semen damage and reduce the risk for male infertility.

    Thus, antioxidant supplementation may be a therapy of choice. The Male-Optimize supplement is the result of our extensive work in finding the best ingredients to counteract oxidative stress induced-DNA damage. The Male-Optimize supplement, thanks to its many ingredients and their benefits, may support your fertility and helps improve your semen quality to increase your chances of conceiving. This all in one pill contains many ingredients enhancing mitochondrial activity (producing energy that boosts semen motility), reducing oxidative stress and inflammation thus inducing optimal seminal plasma composition to allow semen development and maturation into spermatozoa with the best fertilization potential. Male-Optimize is now available for purchase online.

    For more information about our supplements range, please consult our website.


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