It seems like almost everything we encounter today causes fertility problems, from the sugary foods we eat to the cell phones we carry in our pockets.
One of the biggest culprits is bisphenol A, commonly referred to as BPA, a synthetic compound used in plastic water bottles and other materials. Previous research has shown that daily exposure to BPA can affect semen quality.
With sperm counts falling rapidly – a 2017 study found sperm counts have dropped 50 percent in most major countries over the past four decades – researchers have looked at ways to protect men from further harm.
But now you may be able to reverse any damage that your little swimmers have already done using a compound that is already in your body and in your food.
In a study of worms, Harvard Medical researchers found that the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 reverses most of the reproductive harm caused by BPA.
The results published in the journal Genetics could point the way for future fertility treatments.
"Now if we continue to look for chemicals and how they affect reproductive health, we can also ask the next really important question: how can we mitigate these fertility effects, given that we're all exposed, to fertility to improve and achieve healthier births? "Monica Colaiácovo, professor of genetics at the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School, said in a press release.
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is produced by the human body, but is also found in meat and fish. It is also available in a supplementary form. The fertility benefits are already known. However, this is the first case in which it has been found that damage to the reproductive system can be repaired.
But don't rush to the supplement store yet. As the researchers emphasize, humans are not big worms, and the CoQ10 used in the experiment was a very pure form of the antioxidant.
However, the researchers are optimistic about what the results could mean for future research.[RELATED1]