The Forgotten Man: Male Infertility and Its Causes
Share this post
Can antioxidants improve male fertility?
Infertility affects one in six couples, and it can be a devastating experience for those who wish to conceive.
Half of all infertility cases are due to male factors,,, yet men have been largely forgotten when it comes to the treatment of infertility., With the development of assisted reproductive technologies, the treatment burden for male and unexplained infertility has fallen mainly on women.
Male infertility can be a result of genetic, hormonal, or anatomical abnormalities, such as varicocele (an enlargement of veins in the scrotum, which can be surgically corrected).
However, the majority of male infertility cases are caused by poor semen quality: inadequate sperm numbers, too many dead sperm, and/or sperm with low motility (that can’t swim).
Sperm quality has declined over the past 40 years, by some accounts as much as 50%.
Some rather alarming statistics reveal that sperm quality has declined over the past 40 years, by some accounts as much as 50%.,, Unhealthy lifestyles and increased pollution are considered to be the main causes of this decline.,,
Environmental toxins such as bisphenol A (BPA) are implicated in declining sperm quality,, as are smoking, alcohol consumption, psychological stress, obesity, unhealthy diets, and aging.,,
Oxidative stress causes male infertility
In couples planning a pregnancy without knowing whether they are fertile, oxidative stress could cause them to take longer to conceive, and it may reduce the chance of a successful pregnancy.
Oxidative stress is caused by an excess of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a byproduct of normal metabolism. Low levels of ROS are needed for everyday functions, but if the levels of ROS get too high, they can damage sperm.
Cells have developed antioxidant pathways to scavenge any excess ROS, in order to prevent harmful effects. In men who are fertile, ROS production and total antioxidant capacity are generally more in balance.
If ROS levels in sperm exceed antioxidant capacity, however, debilitating oxidative stress ensues., When this happens, the sperm DNA actually breaks into pieces (this is called DNA fragmentation), either inactivating sperm or causing them to die.,,,, It’s not surprising that this damage contributes to infertility.,,,,,
Additionally, DNA fragmentation is a major contributor to miscarriage – spouses of men who had more sperm DNA fragmentation were shown to have a higher chance of spontaneous miscarriage, compared to a control group.
Importantly, 15% of men with normal-appearing semen may have oxidative stress without knowing it.,, In couples planning a pregnancy without knowing whether they are fertile, oxidative stress could cause them to take longer to conceive, and it may reduce the chance of a successful pregnancy.,
Effects of dietary antioxidants on male fertility
In addition to a healthy diet, antioxidant supplementation may improve a couple’s chances of conception.
Balanced diets that focus on vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains, along with fish and low-fat dairy products, are associated with greater antioxidant intakes and better semen quality.,,,,,,, For example, men who follow the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes these healthy food groups, tend to have better semen quality than those consuming a typical Western diet.
Healthy diets provide a variety of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals and countless phytonutrients that support the body’s total antioxidant capacity. These include vitamins C, E, and B complex, and trace elements such as zinc and selenium.,, A deficiency of any one of these vitamins or minerals can impair fertility.,,
When diets are inadequate (as they commonly are), supplementation with these vitamins and minerals may help reduce DNA fragmentation in sperm. A study of healthy men, for example, found that those with the highest intakes of vitamin C had approximately 16% less sperm DNA damage than men with the lowest intake, with similar findings for vitamin E, folate, and zinc.
Many specialists believe that, in addition to a healthy diet, antioxidant supplementation may improve a couple’s chances of conception.,,,, Nearly every food-derived antioxidant that has been tested has some beneficial effect on sperm quality, at least in laboratory studies – including grape polyphenols, alpha-lipoic acid, resveratrol, quercetin, and naringin.,
When it comes to supporting fertility, however, two antioxidants really stand out: melatonin and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Current studies indicate that these natural products may be helpful for both male and female fertility.
Melatonin and male fertility
In couples undergoing IVF, melatonin supplementation of the male partners improved sperm quality and the quality of the embryos that were retrieved from the couples.
Melatonin is synthesized from tryptophan within the pineal gland, and it regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It also is found in some foods, such as tomatoes, olives, walnuts, and sweet cherry.,,
Most people are familiar with melatonin as a sleep aid, but it is also an antioxidant that plays an important role in reproduction.,,, It has been used commercially, for example, to improve fertility in livestock.,
In humans, sleep is triggered by a rise in melatonin production, which begins in the evening, reaching a peak around 2 to 4 a.m. Exposure to light from media devices disrupts sleep, decreases melatonin levels, and decreases sperm quality.,,, So, to improve fertility, men should start by getting a good night’s sleep and avoid using media devices at night!
Men who are fertile tend to have higher blood and semen melatonin levels, on average, than those who are infertile., Higher levels of sperm melatonin are associated with greater sperm motility and fertilization success, which is relevant both for natural conception and for in vitro fertilization (IVF).,
Importantly, melatonin has been shown to protect sperm from oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation, at least in laboratory studies.,, The addition of melatonin to semen improves sperm viability, motility, and subsequent embryo development.,
Melatonin also protects sperm against the damage caused by environmental pollutants, including bisphenol A (BPA), heavy metals (cadmium, mercury, and lead),,, and pesticides (diazinon and others).,
Oral melatonin supplementation has been shown to increase melatonin levels in human testes, and to decrease oxidative stress-related markers. In a study of couples undergoing IVF, melatonin supplementation of the male partners (6 mg melatonin daily for 45 days or more) improved sperm quality and the quality of the embryos that were retrieved from the couples.
Although further studies are needed, the evidence points to melatonin as a supplement that can ameliorate oxidative stress and perhaps improve fertility, both for natural pregnancy and for IVF.
CoQ10 and male fertility
In a study of infertile men, CoQ10 supplementation improved sperm quantity and motility by 114% and 79%, respectively.
You may be familiar with the use of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) for heart health, but it also plays an important role in reproduction. CoQ10 is lipid-soluble, which means that it helps protect sperm membrane lipids against oxidative stress, thereby keeping sperm viable.
Also important is the fact that CoQ10 supports energy production in mitochondria, the powerhouses within cells. Fertilization requires a lot of energy, because sperm must swim long distances through the thick, sticky fluid of the female reproductive tract to reach the egg. When lackluster human sperm were bathed in a CoQ10-enriched medium, their swimming ability improved.,,
Semen CoQ10 concentrations are significantly correlated with sperm numbers and motility. Several clinical trials have shown that supplemental CoQ10 (200 to 600 mg daily for three to six months) can raise CoQ10 levels in semen and improve sperm quality.,,,
In men with unexplained infertility, CoQ10 supplementation (200 or 400 mg per day) was shown to improve sperm concentration and motility, with a slightly greater improvement at the higher dose. The 400 mg daily dose was associated with a 50% increase in sperm concentration and total motility. In another study of infertile men, CoQ10 supplementation (300 mg twice daily for 12 months) improved sperm quantity and motility by 114% and 79%, respectively.
If you choose to supplement with antioxidants, keep in mind that the goal is to restore physiological balance and not to eliminate ROS totally. In other words, more is not necessarily better. Scientists agree that massive antioxidant doses are not needed, and they may even be counterproductive.
If infertility is a concern, hope may be on the horizon. Consult a qualified health professional to rule out any underlying conditions in either partner, including varicocele in men. Consider lifestyle modifications, such as cessation of cigarette smoking, improving one’s diet, reducing stress, and getting a good night’s sleep, all of which are important for healthy sperm (and many other facets of life!). For antioxidant supplementation, the evidence to date favors melatonin and CoQ10, which can be combined with multivitamin and mineral supplementation to alleviate any nutrient deficiencies.Click here to see References
 Ravitsky V, Kimmins S. The forgotten men: rising rates of male infertility urgently require new approaches for its prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Biol Reprod. 2019 Nov 21;101(5):872-4.
 Jung JH, Seo JT. Empirical medical therapy in idiopathic male infertility: promise or panacea? Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2014 Sep; 41(3):108-14.
 Zini A, Sigman M. Are tests of sperm DNA damage clinically useful? Pros and cons. J Androl. May-Jun 2009;30(3):219-29.
 Boivin J, et al. International estimates of infertility prevalence and treatment-seeking: potential need and demand for infertility medical care. Human Reprod. 2007 Jun 1;22(6):1506-12.
 Turner KA, et al. Male infertility is a women’s health issue—research and clinical evaluation of male infertility is needed. Cells. 2020 Apr 16;9(4):990.
 Kurkowska W, et al. Oxidative stress is associated with reduced sperm motility in normal semen. Am J Mens Health. Sep-Oct 2020;14(5):1557988320939731.
 Levine H, et al. Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Hum Reprod Update. 2017 Nov 1;23(6):646-59.
 Andersson A-M, et al. Adverse trends in male reproductive health: we may have reached a crucial ‘tipping point’. Int J Androl. 2008 Apr;31(2):74-80.
 Skoraca K, et al. Diet and nutritional factors in male (in)fertility-underestimated factors. J Clin Med. 2020 May 9;9(5):1400.
 Salas-Huertos A, et al. Diet and sperm quality: nutrients, foods and dietary patterns. Reprod Biol. 2019 Sep;19(3):219-24.
 Rahban R, Nef S. Regional difference in semen quality of young men: a review on the implication of environmental and lifestyle factors during fetal life and adulthood. Basic Clin Androl. 2020 Oct 15;30:16.
 Adoamnei E, et al. Urinary bisphenol A concentrations are associated with reproductive parameters in young men. Environ Res. 2018;161:122-8.
 Meli R, et al. Oxidative stress and BPA toxicity: an antioxidant approach for male and female reproductive dysfunction. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 May 10;9(5):405.
 Sharpe RM, et al. Environmental/lifestyle effects on spermatogenesis. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010 May 27;365(1546):1697-712.
 Nassan FL, et al. Association of dietary patterns with testicular function in young Danish men. JAMA Network Open. 2020 Feb 5;3(2):e1921610.
 Ilacqua A, et al. Lifestyle and fertility: the influence of stress and quality of life on male fertility. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2018 Nov 26;16(1):115.
 Agarwal AA, et al. Male Oxidative Stress Infertility (MOSI): proposed terminology and clinical practice guidelines for management of idiopathic male infertility. World J Mens Health. 2019 Sep;37(3):296-312.
 Aitken RJ, Baker MA. The role of genetics and oxidative stress in the etiology of male infertility – a unifying hypothesis? Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Sep 30;11:581838.
 Dutta S, et al. Oxidative stress and sperm function: a systematic review on evaluation and management. Arab J Urol. 2019 Apr 24;17(2):87-97.
 Ribas-Maynou J, et al. The relationship between sperm oxidative stress alterations and IVF/ICSI outcomes: a systematic review from nonhuman mammals. Biology (Basel). 2020 Jul 21;9(7):178.
 Ko EY, et al. Male infertility testing: reactive oxygen species and antioxidant capacity. Fertil Steril. 2014 Dec;102(6):1518-27.
 Chen H, et al. Does high load of oxidants in human semen contribute to male factor infertility? Antioxid Redox Signal. 2012 Apr 15;16(8):754-9.
 Zandieh Z, et al. Comparing reactive oxygen species and DNA fragmentation in semen samples of unexplained infertile and healthy fertile men. Ir J Med Sci. 2018 Aug;187(3):657-62.
 Kim GY, et al. What should be done for men with sperm DNA fragmentation? Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2018 Sep; 45(3):101-9.
 Quaas A, Dokras A. Diagnosis and treatment of unexplained infertility. Rev Obstet Gynecol. Spring 2008;1(2):69-76.
 Wright C, et al. Sperm DNA damage caused by oxidative stress: modifiable clinical, lifestyle and nutritional factors in male infertility. Reprod Biomed Online. 2014 Jun;28(6):684-703.
 Garcia-Segura S, et al. Relationship of seminal oxidation-reduction potential with sperm DNA integrity and pH in idiopathic infertile patients. Biology (Basel). 2020 Sep 1;9(9):262.
 Bassiri F, et al. Relationship between sperm parameters with sperm function tests in infertile men with at least one failed intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycle. Int J Fertil Steril. 2020 Jan;13(4):324-9.
 Kamkar N, et al. The relationship between sperm DNA fragmentation, free radicals and antioxidant capacity with idiopathic repeated pregnancy loss. Reprod Biol. 2018 Dec;18(4):330-5.
 Spano M, et al. The significance of sperm nuclear DNA strand breaks on reproductive outcome. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Jun;17(3):255-60.
 Lewis SEM, et al. Sperm DNA tests as useful adjuncts to semen analysis. Syst Biol Reprod Med. May-Jun 2008;54(3):111-25.
 El-Sakka AI. Routine assessment of sperm DNA fragmentation in clinical practice: commentary and perspective. Transl Androl Urol. 2017 Sep; 6(Suppl 4):S640-3.
 Pasqualotto FF, et al. Oxidative stress in normospermic men undergoing infertility evaluation. J Androl. Mar-Apr 2001;22(2):316-22.
 Walczak-Jedrzejowska, et al. The role of oxidative stress and antioxidants in male fertility. Cent European J Urol. 2013;66(1):60-7.
 Eskenazi B, et al. Antioxidant intake is associated with semen quality in healthy men. Human Reproduction 2005;20(4):1006‐12.
 Salas-Huetos A, et al. Dietary patterns, foods and nutrients in male fertility parameters and fecundability: a systematic review of observational studies. Hum Reprod Update. 2017 Jul 1;23(4):371-89.
 Zareba P, et al. Semen quality in relation to antioxidant intake in a healthy male population. Fertil Steril. 2013 Dec;100(6):1572-9.
 Nassan FL, et al. Association of dietary patterns with testicular function in young Danish men. JAMA Network Open. 2020 Feb 5;3(2):e1921610.
 Gaskins AJ, et al. Dietary patterns and semen quality in young men. Hum Reprod. 2012 Oct;27(10):2899-907.
 Karayiannis D, et al. Association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and semen quality parameters in male partners of couples attempting fertility. Hum Reprod. 2017 Jan;32(1):215-22.
 Majzoub A, Agarwal A. Systematic review of antioxidant types and doses in male infertility: benefits on semen parameters, advanced sperm function, assisted reproduction and live‐birth rate. Arab J Urol. Jan 2018;16(1):113‐24.
 Smits RM, et al. Antioxidants for male subfertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Mar 14;3(3):CD007411.
 Buhling K, et al. Influence of oral vitamin and mineral supplementation on male infertility: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Reprod Biomed Online. 2019 Aug;39(2):269-79.
 Gual JG, et al. Oral antioxidant treatment partly improves integrity of human sperm DNA in infertile grade I varicocele patients. Hum Fertil (Camb). 2015 Sep;18(3):225-9.
 Schmid TE, et al. Micronutrients intake is associated with improved sperm DNA quality in older men. Fertil Steril. 2012 Nov;98(5):1130-7.
 Nassan FL, et al. Diet and men’s fertility: does diet affect sperm quality? Fertil Steril. 2018 Sep;110(4):570-7.
 Arafa M, et al. Efficacy of antioxidant supplementation on conventional and advanced sperm function tests in patients with idiopathic male infertility. Antioxidants. 2020 Mar;9(3):219.
 Delbarba A, et al. Positive effect of nutraceuticals on sperm DNA damage in selected infertile patients with idiopathic high sperm DNA fragmentation. Minerva Endocrinol. 2020 Jun;45(2):89-96.
 Zhao J, et al. The effect of dietary grape pomace supplementation on epididymal sperm quality and testicular antioxidant ability in ram lambs. Theriogenology. 2017 Jul 15;97:50-6.
 Taherian SS, et al. Alpha-lipoic acid minimises reactive oxygen species-induced damages during sperm processing. Andrologia. 2019 Sep;51(8):e13314.
 Sun L, et al. Resveratrol protects boar sperm in vitro via its antioxidant capacity. Zygote. 2020 Jun 2;1-8.
 Taepongsorat L, et al. Stimulating effects of quercetin on sperm quality and reproductive organs in adult male rats. Asian J Androl. 2008 Mar;10(2):249-58.
 Jamalan M, et al. Human sperm quality and metal toxicants: protective effects of some flavonoids on male reproductive function. Int J Fertil Steril. Jul-Sep 2016;10(2):215-23.
 Alboghobeish S, et al. Efficiency of naringin against reproductive toxicity and testicular damages induced by bisphenol A in rats. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2019 Mar;22(3):315-23.
 Xie Z, et al. A review of sleep disorders and melatonin. Neurol Res. 2017 Jun;39(6):559-65.
 Salehi B, et al. Melatonin in medicinal and food plants: occurrence, bioavailability, and health potential for humans. Cells. 2019 Jul 5;8(7):681.
 Peuhkuri K, et al. Dietary factors and fluctuating levels of melatonin. Food Nutr Res. 2012;56.
 Xia H, et al. Melatonin accumulation in sweet cherry and its influence on fruit quality and antioxidant properties. Molecules. 2020 Feb 10;25(3):753.
 Sun TC, et al. Protective effects of melatonin on male fertility preservation and reproductive system. Cryobiology. 2020 Aug;95:1-8.
 Manchester LC, et al. Melatonin: an ancient molecule that makes oxygen metabolically tolerable. J Pineal Res. 2015 Nov;59(4):403-19.
 Carlomagno G, et al. From implantation to birth: insight into molecular melatonin functions. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Sep 17;19(9):2802.
 Li C, et al. Melatonin and male reproduction. Clin Chim Acta. 2015 Jun 15;446:175-80.
 Pool KR, et al. Treatment of rams with melatonin implants in the non-breeding season improves post-thaw sperm progressive motility and DNA integrity. Anim Reprod Sci. 2020 Oct;221:106579.
 Satta V, et al. Effects of melatonin administration on seminal plasma metabolites and sperm fertilization competence during the non-reproductive season in ram. Theriogenology. 2018 Jul 15;115:16-22.
 Green A, et al. Exposure by males to light emitted from media devices at night is linked with decline of sperm quality and correlated with sleep quality measures. Chronobiol Int. 2020 Mar;37(3):414-24.
 Hassan MH, et al. Men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia exhibit lower serum and seminal plasma melatonin levels: comparative effect of night-light exposure with fertile males. Exp Ther Med. 2020 Jul;20(1):235-42.
 Chen HG, et al. Sleep duration and quality in relation to semen quality in healthy men screened as potential sperm donors. Environ Int. 2020 Feb;135:105368.
 Domínguez-Salazar E, et al. Chronic sleep loss disrupts blood-testis and blood-epididymis barriers, and reduces male fertility. J Sleep Res. 2020 Jun;29(3):e12907.
 Awad H, et al. Melatonin hormone profile in infertile males. Int J Androl. 2006 Jun;29(3):409-13.
 Ortiz A, et al. High endogenous melatonin concentrations enhance sperm quality and short-term in vitro exposure to melatonin improves aspects of sperm motility. J Pineal Res. 2011 Mar;50(2):132-9.
 Cebrián-Pérez JA, et al. Melatonin in sperm biology: breaking paradigms. Reprod Domest Anim. 2014 Oct;49 Suppl 4:11-21.
 Espino J, et al. Melatonin as a potential tool against oxidative damage and apoptosis in ejaculated human spermatozoa. Fertil Steril. 2010 Oct;94(5):1915-7.
 Espino J, et al. Melatonin protects human spermatozoa from apoptosis via melatonin receptor- and extracellular signal-regulated kinase-mediated pathways. Fertil Steril. 2011 Jun;95(7):2290-6.
 Bejarano I, et al. Exogenous melatonin supplementation prevents oxidative stress‐evoked DNA damage in human spermatozoa. J Pineal Res. 2014 Oct;57(3):333-9.
 Monllor F, et al. Melatonin diminishes oxidative damage in sperm cells, improving assisted reproductive techniques. Turk J Biol. 2017 Dec 18;41(6):881-9.
 Pang YW, et al. Protective effects of melatonin on bovine sperm characteristics and subsequent in vitro embryo development. Mol Reprod Dev. 2016 Nov;83(11):993-1002.
 Othman AI, et al. Melatonin controlled apoptosis and protected the testes and sperm quality against bisphenol A-induced oxidative toxicity. Toxicol Ind Health. 2016 Sep;32(9):1537-49.
 Li R, et al. The protective effects of melatonin against oxidative stress and inflammation induced by acute cadmium exposure in mice testis. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Mar;170(1):152-64.
 Romero A, et al. A review of metal-catalyzed molecular damage: protection by melatonin. J Pineal Res. 2014 May;56(4):343-70.
 Olayaki LA, et al. Melatonin prevents and ameliorates lead-induced gonadotoxicity through antioxidative and hormonal mechanisms. Toxicol Ind Health. 2018 Sep;34(9):596-608.
 Sarabia L, et al. Melatonin prevents damage elicited by the organophosphorous pesticide diazinon on mouse sperm DNA. Ecotoxicol Environ Safety. 2009 Feb 1;72(2):663-8.
 Osghari MH, et al. A review of the protective effect of melatonin in pesticide-induced toxicity. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2017 May;13(5):545-54.
 Riviere E, et al. Melatonin daily oral supplementation attenuates inflammation and oxidative stress in testes of men with altered spermatogenesis of unknown aetiology. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2020 Sep 15;515:110889.
 Arenas‐Jal M, et al. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation: efficacy, safety, and formulation challenges. Comp Rev Food Sci Food Safety. 2020 Mar;19(2):574-94.
 Tiseo BC, et al. Coenzyme Q10 intake from foods and semen parameters in a subfertile population. Urology. 2017 Apr;102:100-5.
 Martelli A, et al. Coenzyme Q10: clinical applications in cardiovascular diseases. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Apr 22;9(4):341.
 Alleva R, et al. The protective role of ubiquinol-10 against formation of lipid hydroperoxides in human seminal fluid. Mol Aspects Med. 1997;18 Suppl:S221-8.
 Littarru GP, Tiano L. Bioenergetic and antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10: recent developments. Molecular Biotechnology 2007;37(1):31‐7.
 Gu NH, et al. Comparative analysis of mammalian sperm ultrastructure reveals relationships between sperm morphology, mitochondrial functions and motility. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2019 Aug 15;17(1):66.
 Lewin A, Lavon H. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on sperm motility and function. Mol Aspects Med. 1997;18 Suppl:S213-9.
 Mancini A, Balercia G. Coenzyme Q(10) in male infertility: physiopathology and therapy. Biofactors. 2011 Sep-Oct;37(5):374-80.
 Thakur AS, et al. Effect of ubiquinol therapy on sperm parameters and serum testosterone levels in oligoasthenozoospermic infertile men. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Sep;9(9):BC01-3.
 Vaamonde D, et al. Coenzyme Q10 in fertility and reproduction. In: López Lluch G, ed. Coenzyme Q in Aging. Cham, Switzerland : Springer; 2020 : 283-308.
 Nadjarzadeh A, et al. Effect of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on antioxidant enzymes activity and oxidative stress of seminal plasma: a double-blind randomised clinical trial. Andrologia. 2014 Mar;46(2):177-83.
 Safarinejad MR. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters, sperm function and reproductive hormones in infertile men. J Urol. 2009 Jul;182(1):237-48.
 Safarinejad MR. The effect of coenzyme Q₁₀ supplementation on partner pregnancy rate in infertile men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia: an open-label prospective study. Int Urol Nephrol. 2012 Jun;44(3):689-700.
 Balercia G, et al. Coenzyme Q10 treatment in infertile men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia: a placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized trial. Fertil Steril. 2009 May;91(5):1785-92.
 Alahmar AT. The impact of two doses of coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters and antioxidant status in men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2019 Sep;46(3):112-8.
 Bouayed J, Bohn T. Exogenous antioxidants–double-edged swords in cellular redox state: health beneficial effects at physiologic doses versus deleterious effects at high doses. Oxid Med Cell Longev. Jul-Aug 2010;3(4):228-37.
Share this post
Marina MacDonald, MS, PhD
Ways to Ease Inflammation and Depression
Smart lifestyle choices for a happy brain and healthy mood In last week’s post we explored the ways in which inflammation can cause depression. The science shows that we cannot blame genetics alone for depression. That’s a good thing: it means there is a lot we can do to heal our brains. Here are…
Missing Out on the Keto Craze?
Should you hop on the bandwagon? One of the latest diet trends is the “keto” (ketogenic) diet, which has eclipsed Paleo as the hottest diet trend around. Keto diets are touted as helping you lose weight, improve your memory, and live longer. And a slew of businesses are lining up to capitalize on the…
The Probiotic-Cholesterol Connection
How a specific strain of Lactobacillus reuteri, NCIMB 30242, supports cardiovascular health The relationship between increasing levels of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) and the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) has long been established. With CAD on the rise – not to mention the chest pain and heart attacks it can lead to – the importance…
Craving Sweets? You Might Be Stressed!
When stress talks louder than the stomach Most people crave sweet or salty foods like cookies, chocolates, or potato chips when under stress, and research offers us an understanding of why. Scientists have discovered receptor sites on taste buds that respond to the hormones cortisol, cortisone and corticosterone, altering our taste perception when we’re…
Glutathione, the Master Antioxidant
Does supplementation really increase glutathione levels? Scientists have been trying to understand the aging process for, well, ages. One thing we know for sure is that oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process, and a powerful antioxidant known as glutathione helps fight that oxidative stress., Oxidative stress is a process that…
Eat Your Antioxidants, My Dear
The healthy person’s guide to fruits and vegetables If you ask the typical American how many servings of vegetables they eat per day, they’ll likely answer, “Not enough.” And they’re right; most of us aren’t getting enough of our plant-based foods or the nutrients they contain. In their 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, theUnited States…