L-Carnitine and Male Fertility

Today’s post is in collaboration with Kat Gal, a holistic health writer.

Low sperm count has been an increasing problem in the United States and around the globe. Environmental toxicity, endocrine disruptors, chemicals, smoking, recreational drugs, and certain medications are to blame for many of these problems. 

Reducing your exposure to chemicals and environmental toxins may certainly help, but eliminating toxins from your life entirely is near impossible. What if you could improve male fertility with the help of a simple nutrient? We recommend L-carnitine for male fertility.

L-carnitine is a nutrient that plays a significant role in mitochondrial function, energy production, and disease prevention. Research has shown that L-carnitine may also help to improve sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm quality. Today, we want to discuss the benefits of L-carnitine for male fertility. Let’s get into it.

What Is L-Carnitine?

L-carnitine is a nutrient that plays a critical role in energy production in your body. It is the standard biologically active form of carnitine you can find in many foods and supplements. L-carnitine helps to move fatty acids into your mitochondrial cells. Your mitochondria then will burn them to make energy for all kinds of bodily functions (1, 2, 3).

L-carnitine is found in your skeletal muscle, heart, kidneys, liver, brain, and male sperm cells. Your body can create L-carnitine out of certain amino acids, such as lysine and methionine. This cannot happen without vitamin C, though. Healthy vitamin C levels are essential for your body to produce sufficient amounts of L-carnitine. 

You may also improve your L-carnitine levels by eating certain animal products, including fish and meat. Thus vegetarians and vegans may have difficulty meeting their needs without L-carnitine (4, 5, 6). Fortunately, through supplementations, you can optimize your L-carnitine levels.

Role and Benefits of L-Carnitine 

Before we get into the benefits of L-carnitine for male fertility, let’s discuss the role and benefits of L-carnitine for your overall health. The main role of L-carnitine is to improve mitochondrial function and energy production. According to a 2007 study published in The Journal of Physiology, L-carnitine may help to improve fuel metabolism in skeletal muscle (7). According to a 2011 study published in The Journal of Physiology, it may support fat burning and exercise performance (8).

By supporting mitochondrial health, L-carnitine may also play a role in healthy aging and the prevention of disease (9, 10, 11). According to a 2004 review published in the Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, L-carnitine may be beneficial for your heart health (12, 13, 14). According to a 2001 study published in Blood Purification and a 2013 research published in Frontiers in Physiology, it may help to improve the production of red blood cells (15, 16). It may also help to improve blood flow, stamina, and exercise recovery (17, 18).

According to several studies, including a 2011 study published in Amino Acids, L-carnitine may help to reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity (19, 20, 21). According to a 2017 study published in Neurochemical Research, L-carnitine may have neuroprotective benefits (22). 

One of the most exciting and lesser-known benefits of L-carnitine is for make fertility. L-carnitine supports sperm count, quality, and motility.

L-Carnitine for Male Fertility 

The benefits of L-carnitine for male fertility are not surprising since L-carnitine is naturally found in human sperm and seminal fluid. L-carnitine may help to support sperm maturation, improve sperm motility, boost low sperm count, and protect your spermatozoa from oxidative damage.

Increasing Low Sperm Count

Normal sperm count is at least 20 million per milliliter (m/ML), and normal sperm motility is 60% to 80% actively moving (23). These are both important factors when it comes to male fertility. Low sperm count, poor sperm quality, and weakly swimming sperm can all contribute to male infertility.

Sperm counts have been steadily decreasing in the US, contributing to increasing male infertility (24, 25). A 2004 review published in the Revista do Hospitals das Clinicas has found that endocrine disruptors, smoking, alcohol use, recreational drugs, certain medications, chemical exposure, and other environmental toxins may all contribute to impaired sperm production, poor sperm function, and infertility (26).

Human semen quality is a growing problem. Infertility affects 12 to 15% of sexually active couples who are trying to conceive (27). According to a 2012 study published in BMJ Open, only 23% of the 4,867 participants had healthy sperm concentration and morphology (28).

Research has shown that L-Carnitine may help to improve low sperm count and other aspects of male fertility. According to scientific studies, L-carnitine may help to improve all sperm parameters and various aspects of male fertility, including sperm count, sperm motility, sperm maturation, sperm metabolism, sperm structure, and quality of semen. In the next section, we will discuss how L-carnitine may help to improve various parameters of sperm health.

L-Carnitine for Male Fertility, Sperm Count, Sperm Motility, and Sperm Structure

Based on current data, health practitioners in functional and holistic medicine may recommend L-carnitine. For example, Dr. Huberman mentioned the benefits of L-carnitine for fertility in his Huberman Lab Podcast episode 11 here. In this episode, he stated that L-carnitine “increase[s] sperm quality, sperm motility in males” (29). Though Dr. Huberman didn’t mention the studies he is referencing, we’ve done our own research and found plenty of studies that support the benefits of L-carnitine for sperm count, sperm motility, sperm structure, and other aspects of sperm health and male fertility.

L-carnitine may reduce the risk of male infertility and support men with low sperm count. Research has linked low carnitine levels to decreased sperm count and poor sperm motility (30, 31). Let’s look at what science says about the potential benefits of L-carnitine for fertility.

A 2004 study published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online has found that L-carnitine may play a major role in sperm metabolism, maturation, and motility (32). They found that at least 3 grams a day may improve sperm count and sperm concentration.

A 2010 randomized controlled trial published in the National Journal of Andrology has found that 2 grams of L carnitine per day helped to improve sperm motility and the chance of pregnancy in participants after only 3 months of treatment (33). A 2011 study published in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association has also found that L-carnitine may help to maintain male fertility (30).

A 2012 study published in the Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine has also found that L-carnitine may help to improve sperm motility and chromatin structure (34). A 2016 review published in Andrology has found that L-carnitine may help to improve total sperm motility, progressive sperm motility, and quality of semen (35). Researchers found that L-carnitine may help to reduce cellular damage, and supplementation may help to improve all male fertility. 

A 2021 study published in the Urology Journal has found that L-carnitine and coenzyme Q10 may help to improve sperm motility, reduce free radical damage, and improve sperm DNA and chromatin structure in men with reduced sperm count (31). Research is ongoing, and based on what we know, L-carnitine for male fertility may have a lot of promise. 

Recommendation to Improve Male Fertility with L-Carnitine

We recommend Beli Men Vitality Multivitamin to improve your L-carnitine levels and support male fertility. Beli Men Vitality Multivitamin has 100 grams of L-carnitine in one serving to help improve sperm health and male fertility, including sperm count, sperm motility, sperm maturation, sperm metabolism, sperm structure, quality of semen, male fertility, and the chance of pregnancy.

This is a soy-free, gluten-free, allergen-free, keto-friendly, vegan-friendly, non-GMO supplement designed to increase sperm count, support sperm quality, improve egg penetration, support cellular health, boost energy, and improve male fertility. 

Beli Men Vitality Multivitamin supplement offers 100 mg of L-carnitine in one serving. Beyond L-carnitine, this multivitamin is loaded with other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that support male fertility and male health, including zinc, selenium, vitamin C, D, and E, folate, vitamin B6, L-arginine, N-acetyl-cysteine, coenzyme Q10, taurine, and shilajit. 

Try L-carnitine for male fertility, increased sperm count, improved sperm motility, and better sperm quality. Fuel your body with Beli Men Vitality Multivitamin to increase sperm count and sperm quality.

Additional Resources

Special thanks to Becca, a fertility dietitian at Little Life Nutrition, for today's post! Becca is passionate about helping moms and dads-to-be uncover the root cause of fertility challenges, using nutrition, lifestyle, and functional lab testing to optimize her clients' chance of getting pregnant — a true "no-stone-left-unturned" approach. Here, she shares five ways to boost fertility naturally.

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Special thanks to Becca, a fertility dietitian at Little Life Nutrition, for today's post! Becca is passionate about helping moms and dads-to-be uncover the root cause of fertility challenges, using nutrition, lifestyle, and functional lab testing to optimize her clients' chance of getting pregnant — a true "no-stone-left-unturned" approach. Here, she shares five ways to boost fertility naturally.

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