L-arginine is an amino acid necessary in the replication of cells, and is considered substantial for male fertility. Researches shows that several months of arginine supplement enhances sperm count, quality, and fertility.
L-arginine Fertility Benefits
Infertility is the failure of a couple to become pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse. In approximately 50% of cases, couple infertility is due to sperm quality, including low sperm count, misshapen sperm and decreased sperm motility. The normal amount of semen produced during ejaculation ranges from 1mL to 5.6mL. 40 million to 300 million is the normal range for the number of sperm per milliliter. Counts below 10 million are considered unfavorable; counts of 20 million or more may be fine if motility and morphology are normal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy sperm count is 20 million sperm cells per ml, with 50% of sperm cells moving forward and at least 2 ml of semen volume.
L-arginine is a precursor of different compounds (spermidine, spermine and putrescine) that are thought to play a role in sperm motility. For infertile men with sperm counts greater than 10 million per milliliter, some physicians recommend up to 4 g of arginine per day for several months. In 1973, researchers reported a study in which L-arginine was given to 178 men with low sperm count. 74% of the participants had significant development in sperm count and motility after taking 4 g/day for 3 months. Dr. Cesare Battaglia explained in his 1999 in the Human Reproduction journal that daily ingestion of large doses of arginine increased blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Oral use of 500 mg arginine-HCl per day to infertile men for six-eight weeks significantly increased sperm counts and motility in a majority of patients, and resulted in successful pregnancies. But, when baseline sperm counts were less than 10 million/mL, arginine supplement produced little or no amelioration. A study reported in the January 2006 issue of Biology of Reproduction concluded that sperm cells synthesize nitric oxide, necessary to enhance sperm vitality, from arginine. Another study, researchers evaluated the clinical efficacy of L-arginine in 40 infertile men. Participants were given 80 ml of a 10-percent arginine HCl solution for 6 months. L-arginine supplement significantly developed sperm motility without any adverse effects.