N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) improves sperm motility and count

Sperm count and sperm quality are plummeting. Concerning research shows that sperm count has dropped by over 50% in the past several years. But, not only sperm count, but sperm quality is important. Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that may help both, while, crucially, helping your sperm to swim better.

Several natural supplements have been shown to improve sperm count, quality and motility. But one that seldom gets consideration is alpha-lipoic acid.

An important review of the research on male infertility and antioxidants convincingly found that when men with low sperm count or low sperm motility were given antioxidants, the couple were more than four times more likely to conceive and nearly five times more likely to have a successful delivery. The most effective antioxidants may have been zinc, vitamin E and L-carnitine (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jan 19;(1):CD007411).

So, what about lipoic acid? Lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that quenches both fat and water soluble free radicals.

A just published study looked at the potential for lipoic acid to help men with asthenozoospermia, or low sperm motility. Motility refers to the ability of sperm to move quickly forward in a straight line: a crucial skill if the sperm is to get to the egg. Of the hundreds of millions of sperm in the average ejaculation, only about 40 will ever get even close to the egg. Those 40 are the ones that have the best motility. So, to increase fertility, you have to increase not only sperm count, but sperm motility.

Enter lipoic acid. 80 infertile men were given either a placebo or 300mg of lipoic acid twice a day for 90 days. And it worked. Sperm motility increased significantly in the lipoic acid group.

Lipoic acid also significantly improved sperm vitality, volume and concentration. It also significantly decreased abnormal sperm morphology.

This novel study adds lipoic acid to the list of supplements that increase sperm quality and viability and that could help male fertility.


Hum Fertil (Camb). 2022 Jan 13:1-9


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