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The Healthy Skeptic: Male Fertility Supplements Are No Magic Path to Fatherhood

Los Angeles Times,  Feb 14, 2011

The average man produces hundreds of billions of sperm cells in his lifetime. Only a minuscule fraction of those little guys ever manage to swim far enough and fast enough to fertilize an egg. Successful sperm must be strong. It stands to reason then that they also must be well-nourished.

Several nutritional supplements purport to help men take a big step closer to fatherhood. FertilAid for Men, manufactured by Fairhaven Health, contains megadoses of antioxidant vitamins and B vitamins. Take three capsules a day as directed and you'll be getting almost seven times your recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E, more than 10 times your RDA for vitamin B12 and almost three times your RDA for vitamin C. The product also contains large doses of minerals such as zinc, selenium and chromium. It's topped off with a blend that includes the amino acid L-carnitine and coenzyme Q10, two nutrients that, according to some theories, may help boost the swimming power of sperm.

FertilAid is available at many drugstores and health stores. On the Fairhaven Health website, a bottle of 90 capsules — a one-month supply — retails for about $30. The site says men have to take the supplement for at least two to three months to get any benefit.

FertilityBlend for Men, a supplement from Daily Wellness Co., takes a similar approach. Users are instructed to take two to four capsules a day separated into two doses. Two capsules a day — the low end of the recommended dose — will provide 10 times your RDA for vitamin E and more than your full allotment of vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, zinc and selenium. It also contains a blend of L-carnitine, green tea and the Chinese herb dong quai.

FertilityBlend for Men is sold in many of the same stores that carry FertilAid. You can buy a 60-capsule bottle (a one-month supply if you take just two capsules a day) on the Daily Wellness website for about $30. The company site says the product works best when taken daily for at least three to six months.

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