It’s well established that improving the nutrition of mothers has many beneficial effects. Prenatal supplementation of vitamin folate alone has reduced the incidence of different malformations. It’s tempting to ask if there are any prenatal vitamins for men too? Should we also improve our nutrition before…you know..?
What’s a Vitamin?
You can skip this short paragraph if you already know the answer, but I have to cover the basics for the article to make any sense.
Your body contains enzymes which help to haste different chemical reactions. When the chemical reactions stop, you die…so enzymes are kinda important.
Vitamins are molecules that help the enzymes in their hard work. They can be fat-soluble or water-soluble and there are 20 different vitamins in your body.
The sad thing about vitamins is that you need them daily and can keep only a couple of them (B12, folate) in storage.
The good thing is that you don’t have to think about it too much:
- You get most of them by food without even noticing
- Your body can also make (synthesize) a couple of them
- It’s also possible to delegate a couple of small tasks to friendly bacteria in your gut in exchange for a living space. For example, bacteria can produce vitamin K for you
That said, there are times when you may need to take extra vitamins to stay healthy.
Can Anyone Take Prenatal Vitamins For Men?
Yes, anyone can take prenatal vitamins because they are considered dietary supplements. That doesn’t mean that all people should.
Vitamins have special functions in the body, and eating them in high concentrations can cause problems. In my experience, there are only two vitamins that you may need in case of a balanced diet:
- Vitamin D- if you don’t spend enough time outside in the sun
- Vitamin E
Common Reasons For Vitamin Deficiency:
- You don’t get them enough from food because of an unbalanced diet or problems with absorption
- Some diseases can be the cause of vitamin deficiency
- Physiologic conditions like pregnancy may lead to vitamin deficiency because of increased demand
Why Take Prenatal Vitamins?
There are two good reasons men think about prenatal vitamins.
Vitamin deficiency can cause serious illnesses. Many men wish to make sure that they don’t lack any vital nutrients by taking them just in case.
Healthy men have increased libido, and spermatozoids are more active.
To Specifically Improve The Performance Of Sperm Cells
Although there’s no conclusive evidence that taking prenatal vitamins improves the rate of pregnancies, many vitamins affect spermatozoids. All these vitamins also have other vital functions, of course.
Best Prenatal Vitamins For Men
Vitamin A is fat-soluble, and you can easily get it from dairy products and other animal sources. That said, many plants contain provitamin A (carotenoids), so the risk of deficiency is minimal in rich countries.
Vitamin A affects spermatogenesis (development of sperm cells) thanks to steroid-hormone-like compounds.
Vitamin E is a collective name for related fat-soluble compounds. Vitamin E is fat soluble so you can find in some animal sources like chicken eggs. Almonds are great plant-based vitamin E source, so you don’t have to worry even if you don’t like meat.
Studies have shown that oxidative stress is often the reason for the lower quality of sperm. Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant in your body (there are many of them though). Thus it’s logical to assume that it has some beneficial effects when it comes to conception.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s mostly found in plants. It’s also an essential antioxidant, and as I’ve already discussed, we can assume that it favorably affects the quality of sperm.
Folate or folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that you can find in many foods.
I’ve already mentioned the prenatal supplementation for pregnant women has had many benefits. Some scientists speculate that giving it to men (before conception) may enhance the results. The reasoning behind this is that folate is involved in DNA building (genes…stuff that makes your baby look like you). So the deficiency may cause hereditary problems.
How To Choose Prenatal Vitamins For Men?
Although there isn’t conclusive evidence that prenatal vitamins for men can raise the quality of sperm or reduce congenital anomalies, it would be logical to assume that they have some beneficial effects.
Make sure that the multivitamin contains all the nutrients that I talked about. That’s it!
Men’s Daily Multimineral by Vimerson Health is an excellent example and also sold on Amazon.
It’s a great product as it contains all the mentioned vitamins. You also get zinc (Zn), which is perfect. The recommended daily dose for Zn is over 10mg, and it’s quite hard to get that amount from regular food. The deficiency of Zn can cause sterility, which means this micronutrient is essential when it comes to having children.
It’s worth noting that all multivitamins contain stuff that you probably don’t need. Vitamins B2-5 are easy to get from food, for example. That said, your body can temporarily adjust to higher doses of some nutrients and so a short-term (1-2 months) intake is unlikely to cause health problems.
What If I Prefer Not To Take Vitamins And Want To Get Everything From Natural Food?
I worked for over five years to create DadProgree meal plans. It means that I had to research which foods have the highest concentration of beneficial nutrients.
Three daily snack ideas for men who wish to conceive a child:
- 1 Orange: You’ll get over 90mg of vitamin C, that’s basically all you need for a day
- 1 Carrot: You’ll get all the provitamin A you’ll need
- 30 almonds: You’ll get over 7mg of vitamin E, and you’ll surely get the rest from regular food
With these three snacks alone, you’ll also get about 30% of your daily folic acid and hit two of your five veggies.
Many vitamins and known to affect sperm cells and so it’s only logical that prenatal vitamins for men may be helpful when it comes to conceiving a child.
Men’s Daily Multimineral by Vimerson Health is an excellent product. It contains all the recommended vitamins.
That said, you can also get all of them from food. Just start with my three recommended snacks and try to have a balanced menu.