Tomatoes for better sperm quality

Tomatoes for better sperm quality

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How do tomatoes affect fertility?

The quality of sperm can be improved by taking a special compound, which is also contained in tomatoes. Lycopene appears to significantly increase fertility, according to a recent study.

In the current study by the University of Sheffield, it was found that lycopene, which is also present in tomatoes, can significantly improve sperm quality. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "European Journal of Nutrition".

40 to 50 percent of infertility cases are due to men

It is possible to significantly improve sperm quality with lycopene. The discovery could change the prospects for men with fertility problems and lead to better ways to reduce the harmful effects of modern life on reproductive health, the research team reports. About 40 to 50 percent of all cases of infertility are due to male infertility. With the team discovered that it is possible to increase the proportion of healthy shaped sperm and to increase fast floating sperm by about 40 percent.

What is lycopene?

Lycopene occurs in some types of fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes. Lycopene is a pigment that gives tomatoes their red color, but it can only be absorbed by the human body through diet. For this reason, a commercially available variant called LactoLycopin was used for the study, which specifically allowed a high dosage.

How was the study carried out?

Half of the participating men took LactoLycopene supplements and the other half took a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew who received LactoLycopin treatment and who received the placebo. Sperm and blood samples were then taken at the beginning and end of the study.

Can LactoLycopin Help Men With Fertility Problems?

The improvement in sperm morphology (size and shape) was remarkable, the researchers report. This was the first properly designed and controlled study of the effect of LactoLycopin on semen quality. The next step would be to check whether similar results can be seen in men with fertility problems and whether LactoLycopin can also increase the sperm quality in these men.

More research is needed

The research has not yet investigated the underlying mechanism for the positive effects of lycopene. Because lycopene is a known powerful antioxidant, it could potentially inhibit the damage caused by sperm oxidation, which is a known cause of fertility problems in men. The researchers believe that this antioxidant effect is the key to improving sperm quality, which should be examined in further studies. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Elizabeth A. Williams, Madeleine Parker, Aisling Robinson, Sophie Pitt, Allan A. Pacey: A randomized placebo-controlled trial to investigate the effect of lactolycopene on semen quality in healthy males, in European Journal of Nutrition (query: 10.10.2019) , European Journal of Nutrition

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