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Cigarette smoking has long been known to have adverse effects of male reproductivity. Naturally, in the human body, there is a balance between free radicals and the antioxidant system. Cigarette consumption increases free radicals and decreases antioxidant vitamins and minerals in the body. Zinc contributes to normal fertility and reproduction* and in regards to male fertility, selenium helps with normal spermatogenesis; the production of sperm.*

One study looked at blood and seminal plasma zinc in smokers compared to non-smokers.  Seventy males were included: 35 smokers (group I) (smoking ˃20 cigarettes/day with mild smoking index <400) and 35 age-matched non-smokers (group II). Semen analysis was performed. Reduced zinc levels were evident in smokers which has a significant role in the adverse effects on the semen quality and quantity.

It is also interesting to know if antioxidant supplementation can help correct these problems. Research published in 2020 aimed to explore the effect of vitamin complement consumption on changing male infertility indices among smokers. A mix of compounds, including Zinc, Co-Enzyme Q10, and vitamin C were given to 50 infertile male smokers once a day for 3 months. Selenium was given every other day. Sperm parameters were compared before and after supplementation. The scientists confirmed supplementation effectively improved the qualitative parameters (pH and concentration) and quantitative parameters (volume, motion, morphology, count and progressive motility) in infertile male smokers.

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* GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS