For couples that have been trying with no luck to get pregnant and have not been able to a find a reason for their infertility, it may be time to have a simple blood test to determine if their glucose levels are too high.
With the rates of Type II diabetes rising every year all over the world, more and more infertility specialists are looking toward this health issue as a main cause of some otherwise unexplained infertility cases they see.
When it comes to diabetes and infertility the answer is clear: there is a connection. In many cases, especially among men, a high blood glucose level does not only cause erectile dysfunction, it also lowers their fertility level.
Diabetic men have much lower semen levels. The high blood sugar levels can cause serious DNA damage to sperm which can inhibit a pregnancy, live birth and even having healthy, normal babies.
While it is important to understand the risks involved in high glucose levels and fertility, it is also important to understand that simple nutritional modifications such as increased consumption of red palm oil can help to ameliorate the effect of diabetes on a man’s ability to father a child.
In a new study, scientists said intake of red palm oil was beneficial in ensuring quality sperms under laboratory conditions. It improved sperm motility that is essential for an improved fertility level.
Red palm oil is natural oil obtained from the fleshy orange–red mesocarp of the fruit of palm tree (Elaeis guineensis). It contains lipid-soluble antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E and K. It is distinctive from other plants and animal oil.
In studying the effects of red palm oil and rooibos on sperm count, motility and morphology in streptozocin- induced diabetic rats, the South African researchers supplement the diets of rats with 2 ml red palm oil and / or aqueous rooibos tea extract (2per cent) for seven weeks. The swimming speed of the sperm were measured.
Rooibos, an indigenous South African herbal tea, is made from the leaves and stems of the fynbos plant, Aspalathus linearis and its popularity as a health beverage is known both locally and internationally. The herbal tea is prepared from both the unfermented and fermented plant material.
In this study, the results showed a decrease in the progressive motility in the diabetic control group and diabetic rats treated with rooibos tea extract and in combination with red pal oil when compared with the normal control group.
However, there was an increase though, not significant in the progressive motility of sperms from the diabetic group treated with red palm oil alone.
The researchers writing in the 2014 edition of the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine said : “This ability of red palm oil bringing the progressive motility to near normal indicates that it can be helpful in improving fertility”.
The researchers are Ademola O. Ayeleso, Oluwafemi O. Oguntibeju, Yapo G. Aboua and Nicole L. Brooks.
Previously, the beneficial effects of red palm oil on oxidative stress by reactive oxygen species (ROS) , a factor responsible for reduced sperm motility and genetic integrity of sperm, have been identified.
Written in 2012 May edition of Andrologia, the researchers corroborated that a daily intake of red palm oil might be helpful in protecting males against the adverse effects of high ROS in sperm function, thus helping to preserve fertility.
Reactive oxygen species generated by abnormal sperm can stimulate the process of apoptosis, resulting in the death of sperm.
Another group of researchers in the June 2009 edition of Medical Technology SA also described red palm as a natural ‘cocktail’ of antioxidants that under laboratory conditions can help prevent death of sperm cells.
Meanwhile, inclusion of red palm oil in one’s diet is also said to be protective from testicular damage induced by toxins such as lead in the environment, thus preventing possible resultant male infertility.
This was the ascertion of a study carried out by A. I. Jegede; U. Offor; O. O. Azu; and O. Akinloye and published in the 2015 edition of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Lead toxicity, like toxicity from other heavy metal, increased generation of ROS that invariably among other things cause a reduction in sperm count and volume as well as increased production of abnormal sperms.