Posted by: Integra Massage | March 15, 2011

Declining male fertility

A recent story in BBC Health News covered a new study that provides evidence that male fertility is declining due to environmental pollutants.

The research conducted by the University of Turka in Finland, charts a year on year decline in men’s sperm counts and a rise in testicular cancer.  The researcher hypothosise that the cause is industrial and and food chemicals which my affect testicular development in young boys, the effects only becoming apparent later in life.

As I have mentioned previous blogs, the key issue here is likely to be zeno-estrogens.  These are chemicals that mimic actions of the female hormone estrogen.  They are found in a many of petrochemical and plastic materials and are widely distributed in our environment and in our drinking water. Zeno estrogens appear to have a feminising effect on males and can cause infertility and many other problems.

Male fertility may also be affected by lifestyle factors: lack of exercise, weight gain, a diet high in carbohydrates and excess alcohol consumption (particularly beer I’m afraid) can all lead a man’s body to convert the male hormone testosterone (essential to good fertility) into harmful estrogen.

The problem is that much of the damage happens early in life when the testicles are developing but is not discovered until perhaps decades later when a man is trying to start a family.

The diagnosis of low sperm count, or other sperm problems such as poor motility or morphology can be hard for a man.  Often he will feel as if his virility and manhood, and indeed his whole self worth is being called into question.  Men are often reluctant to seek treatment, conventional or alternative, particularly in relation to such a personal issue.

Can natural methods help?  I believe so, and my experience as a practitioner supports my belief.  The majority of men I have worked with over the past decade or so have seen an increase in sperm count after a few months of treatment.

The approach I adopt has two main aspects.  Firstly dietary and lifestyle adjustments, particularly:

  • an emphasis on organic food
  • a substantial increase in antioxidant rich foods such as berries and leafy greens
  • increased intake in foods that moderate estrogen metabolism, leafy greens again, flaxseed, soy etc
  • increased intake of plant sterols from nuts and healthy oils
  • a diet balanced towards more protein and less carbohydrate
  • elimination of refined carbohydrates and alcohol
  • avoidance of exposure to plastic packaging, solvents and other chemicals
  • An exercise regime focused on high intensity interval training and strength work rather than moderate cardio

Secondly individually prescribed herbal formulas which include herbs which limit estrogen, boost testosterone and enhance blood circulation to the testicles.

I usually expect to see results in three to six months.

There is more information about herbal treatment on the Integra website http://integramassage.co.uk/herbalism.html

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