Food with Influence in the Sexual and Reproductive Health

Author(s): Tânia Silva*, Mariana Jesus, César Cagigal, Carla Silva.

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Volume 20 , Issue 2 , 2019

Become EABM
Become Reviewer

Graphical Abstract:


Abstract:

Background: Sexual dysfunction and infertility are conditions with high prevalence in the general population. Nutritional factors have been reported to have an impact on sexual and reproductive health.

Objective: The aim of this review is to summarize the data on nutritional factors that have influence on male and female sexual and reproductive function, including nutritional status, specific foods (e.g. dairy food), nutrients and other food components and dietary supplements.

Method: A literature search was performed using Cochrane Library, Medline and Science Direct databases without time limitations.

Results: Obesity has a negative influence on male fertility, and weight loss improves male fertility. Food insufficiency is associated with increased sexual risk behaviours, more significant in women. Regarding macronutrients and group foods, trans-fatty acids, high glycemic index food, high carbohydrate diet and high animal protein intake prejudices fertility; omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, low glycemic index food and low carbohydrate diet, vegetable proteins and antioxidants improve fertility. Isoflavones have a negative impact on men fertility and improve sexual health of menopausal women. Whole milk improves women fertility, but men benefit from skim milk. Concerning dietary supplements, there is weak evidence sustaining efficacy, and the most promising supplements are yohimbine, vitamin B, L-arginine and vitamin D.

Conclusion: The compiled results indicate that despite the multifactorial etiology of sexual/ reproductive dysfunction, nutritional factors may affect the sexual and reproductive health in both men and women. However, it is necessary to further study to clarify this association and simultaneously improve the approach and treatment of patients with sexual and/or reproductive problems.

Keywords: Male infertility, female infertility, sexual health, sexual dysfunction, nutrition, dietary supplements, aphrodisiacs, libido.

[1]
World Health Organization. Sexual health and its linkages to reproductive health: An operational approach; WHO. 2017, ISBN: 978 92 4 151288.
[2]
Mitchell, K.R.; Jones, K.G.; Wellings, K.; Johnson, A.M.; Graham, C.A.; Datta, J.; Copas, A.J.; Bancroft, J.; Sonnenberg, P.; Macdowall, W.; Field, N.; Mercer, C.H. Estimating the prevalence of sexual function problems: The impact of morbidity criteria. J. Sex Res., 2016, 5(8), 955-967.
[3]
McCabe, M.P.; Sharlip, I.D.; Lewis, L.; Atalla, E.; Balon, R.; Fisher, A.D.; Laumann, E.; Lee, S.W.; Segraves, R.T. Incidence and prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women and men: A consensus statement from the fourth international consultation on sexual medicine 2015. J. Sex. Med., 2016, 13(2), 144-152.
[4]
Boivin, J.; Bunting, L.; Collins, J.A.; Nygren, K.G. International estimates of infertility prevalence and treatment-seeking: potential need and demand for infertility medical care. Hum. Reprod., 2007, 22(6), 1506-1512.
[5]
Mascarenhas, M.N.; Flaxman, S.R.; Boerma, T.; Vanderpoel, S.; Stevens, G.A. National, regional, and global trends in infertility prevalence since 1990: A systematic analysis of 277 health surveys. PLoS Med., 2012, 9(12), e1001356.
[6]
Hosseini, B.; Eslamian, G. Association of dietary factors with male and female infertility: Review of current evidence. Thrita, 2014, 3(3), e20953.
[7]
Krausz, C. Male infertility: pathogenesis and clinical diagnosis. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 2011, 25, 271-285.
[8]
Lotti, F.; Maggi, M. Sexual dysfunction and male infertility. Nat. Rev. Urol., 2018.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrurol.2018.20]
[9]
Faubion, S.S.; Rullo, J.E. Sexual dysfunction in women: A practical approach. Am. Fam. Physician, 2015, 92(4), 281-288.
[10]
Cui, T.; Kovell, R.C.; Brooks, D.C.; Terlecki, R.P. A Urologist’s guide to ingredients found in top-selling nutraceuticals for Men’s Sexual Health. J. Sex. Med., 2015, 12, 2105-2117.
[11]
Stokes, V.J.; Anderson, R.A.; George, J.T. How does obesity affect fertility in men - and what are the treatment options? Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf.), 2015, 82(5), 633-638.
[12]
Shi, M.D.; Chao, J.K.; Ma, M.C.; Hao, L.J.; Chao, I.C. Factors associated with sex hormones and erectile dysfunction in male Taiwanese participants with obesity. J. Sex. Med., 2014, 11, 230-239.
[13]
Janik, M.R.; Bielecka, I.; Paśnik, K.; Kwiatkowski, A.; Podgórska, L. Female sexual function before and after bariatric surgery: A cross-sectional study and review of literature. Obes. Surg., 2015, 8, 1511-1517.
[14]
Sarwer, D.B.; Steffen, K.J. Quality of life, body image and sexual functioning in bariatric surgery patients. Eur. Eat. Disord. Rev., 2015, 23(6), 504-508.
[15]
Chop, E.; Duggaraju, A.; Malley, A.; Burke, V.; Caldas, S.; Yeh, P.T.; Narasimhan, M.; Amin, A.; Kenned, C.E. Food insecurity, sexual risk behavior, and adherence to antiretroviral therapy among women living with HIV: A systematic review. Health Care Women Int., 2017, 38(9), 927-944.
[16]
Afeiche, M.C.; Gaskins, A.J.; Williams, P.L.; Toth, T.L.; Wright, D.L.; Tanrikut, C. Processed meat intake is unfavorably and fish intake favorably associated with semen quality indicators among men attending a fertility clinic. J. Nutr., 2014, 144(7), 1091-1098.
[17]
Robbins, W.A.; Xun, L.; FitzGerald, L.Z.; Esguerra, S.; Henning, S.M.; Carpenter, C.L. Walnuts improve semen quality in men consuming a Western-style diet: Randomized control dietary intervention trial. Biol. Reprod., 2012, 87(4), 101.
[18]
Chavarro, J.E.; Rich-Edwards, J.W.; Rosner, B.A.; Willett, W.C. A prospective study of dietary carbohydrate quantity and quality in relation to risk of ovulatory infertility. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 2009, 63(1), 78-86.
[19]
Douglas, C.C.; Gower, B.A.; Darnell, B.E.; Ovalle, F.; Oster, R.A.; Azziz, R. Role of diet in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil. Steril., 2006, 85(3), 679-688.
[20]
Greenlee, A.R.; Arbuckle, T.E.; Chyou, P.H. Risk factors for female infertility in an agricultural region. Epidemiology, 2003, 14(4), 429-436.
[21]
Ruder, E.H.; Hartman, T.J.; Blumberg, J.; Goldman, M.B. Oxidative stress and antioxidants: Exposure and impact on female fertility. Hum. Reprod. Update, 2008, 14(4), 345-357.
[22]
Mitchell, J.H.; Cawood, E.; Kinniburgh, D.; Provan, A.; Collins, A.R.; Irvine, D.S. Effect of a phytoestrogen food supplement on reproductive health in normal males. Clin. Sci., 2001, 100, 613-618.
[23]
Vitale, S.G.; Caruso, S.; Rapisarda, A.M.C.; Cianci, S.; Cianci, A. Isoflavones, calcium, vitamin D and inulin improve quality of life, sexual function, body composition and metabolic parameters in menopausal women: Result from a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study. Przegl. Menopauz., 2018, 17(1), 32-38.
[24]
Belwal, T.; Bhatt, I.D.; Kashyap, D.; Sak, K.; Tuli, H.S.; Pathak, R.; Rawal, R.S.; Ghatnur, S.M. Ophiocordyceps sinensis. Nonvitamin and Nonmineral Nutritional Supplements.In: Nonvitamin and Nonmineral Nutritional Supplements; Nabavi, S.M.; Sanches, S.A., Eds.; Elsevier B.V.: Amsterdam, 2019, pp. 527-537.
[25]
Ng, C.F.; Lee, C.P.; Ho, A.L.; Lee, V.W. Effect of niacin on erectile function in men suffering erectile dysfunction and dyslipidemia. J. Sex. Med., 2011, 8(10), 2883-2893.
[26]
Demir, T.; Comlekci, A.; Demir, O.; Gulcu, A.; Çalypkan, S.; Argun, L.; Seçil, M.; Yepil, S.; Esen, A. Hyperhomocysteinemia: A novel risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Metabol. Clin. Experim., 2006, 55, 1564-1568.
[27]
Tjandra, B.S.; Janknegt, R.A. Neurogenic impotence and lower urinary tract symptoms due to vitamin B1 deficiency in chronic alcoholism. J. Urol., 1997, 157, 954-955.
[28]
Bahmanpour, S.; Talaei, T.; Vojdani, Z.; Panjehshahin, M.R.; Poostpasand, A.; Zareei, S.; Ghaeminia, M. Effect of phoenix dactylifera pollen on sperm parameters and reproductive system of adult male rats. IJMS, 2006, 31(4), 208-212.
[29]
Rao, A.; Steels, E.; Beccaria, G.; Inder, W.J.; Vitetta, L. Influence of a specialized Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract (Libifem), on testosterone, estradiol and sexual function in healthy menstruating women, a randomised placebo controlled study. Phytother. Res., 2015, 29(8), 1123-1130.
[30]
Steels, E.; Rao, A.; Vitetta, L. Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum extract and mineral formulation. Phytother. Res., 2011, 10, 1294-1300.
[31]
Meston, C.M.; Rellini, A.H.; Telch, M.J. Short- and long-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on sexual dysfunction in women. Arch. Sex. Behav., 2008, 37(4), 530-547.
[32]
Jang, D.J.; Lee, M.S.; Shin, B.C.; Lee, Y.C.; Ernst, E. Red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction: A systematic review. Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol., 2008, 66, 444-450.
[33]
Ding, J.; Tang, Y.; Zu, X.; Qi, L.; Zhang, X.; Wang, G. Icariin improves sexual funtion of male mice throught the PI3K/AKT/ eNOS/NO signalling pathway. Andrologia, 2018, 50(1)
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/and.12802. Epub 2017 Mar 15.]
[34]
Ito, T.; Polan, M.; Trant, A. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of arginmax, a nutritional supplement for enhancement of female sexual function. J. Sex Marital Ther., 2001, 27, 541-549.
[35]
Cavallini, G.; Caracciolo, S.; Vitali, G.; Modenini, F.; Biagiotti, G. Carnitine versus androgen administration in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, depressed mood, and fatigue associated with male aging. Urology, 2004, 63, 641-646.
[36]
Shin, B.C.; Lee, M.S.; Yang, E.J.; Lim, H.S.; Ernst, E. Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: A systematic review. BMC Complement. Altern. Med., 2010, 10, 44.
[37]
Qureshi, A.; Naughton, D.P.; Petroczi, A. A systematic review on the herbal extract Tribulus terrestris and the roots of its putative aphrodisiac and performance enhancing effect. J. Diet. Suppl., 2014, 11, 64-79.
[38]
Neychev, V.; Mitev, V. Pro-sexual and androgen enhancing effects of Tribulus terrestris L.: Fact or fiction. J. Ethnopharmacol., 2016, 179, 345-355.
[39]
Ahsan, U.; Kamran, Z.; Raza, I.; Ahmad, S.; Babar, W.; Riaz, M.H.; Iqbal, Z. Role of selenium in male reproduction - a review. Anim. Reprod. Sci., 2014, 146(1-2), 55-62.
[40]
Hanse, J.C.; Deguchi, Y. Selenium and fertility in animals and man - A review. Acta Vet. Scand., 1996, 37(1), 19-30.
[41]
Krysiak, R.; Szwajkosz, A.; Marek, B.; Okopień, B. The effect of vitamin D supplementation on sexual functioning and depressive symptoms in young women with low vitamin D status. Endokrynol. Pol., 2018, 69(2), 168-174.
[42]
Krysiak, R.; Gilowska, M.; Okopień, B. Sexual function and depressive symptoms in young women with low vitamin D status: A pilot study. Eur. J. Obstet. Gynecol. Reprod. Biol., 2016, 204, 108-112.
[43]
Ernst, E.; Pittler, M.H. Yohimbine for erectile dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J. Urol., 1998, 159, 433-436.
[44]
Prasad, A.S.; Mantzoros, C.S.; Beck, F.W.; Hess, J.W.; Brewer, G.J. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition, 1996, 12, 344-348.
[45]
Ebisch, I.; Thomas, C.; Peters, W.; Braat, D.; Steegers-Theunissen, R. The importance of folate, zinc and antioxidants. Hum. Reprod. Update, 2007, 13(2), 163-174.
[46]
Allan, C.A.; McLachlan, R.I. Androgens and obesity. Curr. Opin. Endocrinol. Diabetes Obes., 2010, 17(3), 224-232.
[47]
Whitaker, R.C.; Phillips, S.M. Orzol Food insecurity and the risks of depression and anxiety in mothers and behavior problems in their preschool-aged children. Pediatrics, 2006, 118(3), e859-e868.
[48]
Weiser, S.D.; Leiter, K.; Bangsberg, D.R.; Butler, L.M.; Percy-de Korte, F.; Hlanze, Z.; Phaladze, N.; Iacopino, V.; Heisler, M. Food insufficiency is associated with high-risk sexual behavior among women in Botswana and Swaziland. PLoS Med., 2007, 4(10), 1589-1597.
[49]
Miller, C.L.; Bangsberg, D.R.; Tuller, D.M.; Senkungu, J.; Kawuma, A.; Frongillo, E.A.; Weiser, S.D. Food insecurity and sexual risk in an HIV endemic community in Uganda. AIDS Behav., 2011, 15(7), 1512-1519.
[50]
Faghfoori, Z.; Fazelian, S.; Shadnoush, M.; Goodarzi, R. Nutritional management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A review study. Diabet. Metab Syndr., 2017, 11(Suppl. 1), S429-S432.
[51]
Jensen, T.K.; Heitmann, B.L.; Jensen, M.B.; Halldorsson, T.I.; Andersson, A.M.; Skakkebaek, N.E. High dietary intake of saturated fat is associated with reduced semen quality among 701 young Danish men from the general population. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2013, 97(2), 411-418.
[52]
Polak, G.; Koziol-Montewa, M.; Gogacz, M.; Blaszkowska, I.; Kotarski, J. Total antioxidante status of peritoneal fluid in infertile women. Eur. J. Obstet. Gynecol. Reprod. Biol., 2001, 9(2), 261-263.
[53]
Ruder, E.H.; Hartman, T.J.; Reindollar, R.H.; Goldman, M.B. Female dietary antioxidant intake and time to pregnancy among couples treated for unexplained infertility. Fertil. Steril., 2014, 101(3), 759-766.
[54]
Piomboni, P.; Gambera, L.; Serafini, F.; Campanella, G.; Morgante, G.; De Leo, V. Sperm quality improvement after natural anti-oxidant treatment of asthenoteratospermic men with leukocytospermia. Asian J. Androl., 2008, 10(2), 201-206.
[55]
Menditto, A.; Pietraforte, D.; Minetti, M. Ascorbic acid in human seminal plasma is protected from iron-mediated oxidation, but is potentially exposed to copper-induced damage. Hum. Reprod., 1997, 12(8), 1699-1705.
[56]
Verma, A.; Kanwar, K.C. Human sperm motility and lipid peroxidation in different ascorbic acid concentrations: An in vitro analysis. Andrologia, 1998, 30(6), 325-329.
[57]
Lewin, A.; Lavon, H. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on sperm motility and function. Mol. Aspects Med., 1997, 18(Suppl.), S213-S219.
[58]
Safarinejad, M.R. The effect of coenzyme Q(1)(0) supplementation on partner pregnancy rate in infertile men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia: An open-label prospective study. Int. Urol. Nephrol., 2012, 44(3), 689-700.
[59]
Gao, J.X.; Li, Y.; Zhang, H.Y.; He, X.L.; Bai, A.S. Lycopene ameliorates erectile dysfunction in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Pharmazie, 2012, 67(3), 256-259.
[60]
Giovannone, R.; Busetto, G.M.; Antonini, G.; De Cobelli, O.; Ferro, M.; Tricarico, S.; Del Giudice, F.; Ragonesi, G.; Conti, S.L.; Lucarelli, G.; Gentile, V.; De Berardinis, E. Hyperhomocysteinemia as an early predictor of erectile dysfunction: International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Penile Doppler Ultrasound correlation with plasma levels of homocysteine. Medicine (Baltimore), 2015, 94(39), e1556.
[61]
Malviya, N.; Jain, S.; Gupta, V.B.; Vyas, S. Recent studies on aphrodisiac herbs for the management of male sexual dysfunction - a review. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceut. -. Drug Res., 2011, 68, 1-, 3-8.
[62]
Varjas, T.; Nowrasteh, G.; Budan, F.; Horvath, G.; Cseh, J.; Makai, S.; Ember, I. The effect of fenugreek on the gene expression of arachidonic acid metabolizing enzymes. Phytother. Res., 2011, 25, 221-227.
[63]
Leung, K.W.; Wong, A. Ginseng and male reproductive function. Spermatogenesis, 2013, 3(3), e26391.
[64]
Li, C.; Li, Q.; Mei, Q.; Lu, T. Pharmological effects and pharmacokinetic properties of icariin, the major bioactive component in Herba epimedii. Life Sci., 2015, 126, 57-68.
[65]
Beharry, S.; Heinrich, M. Is the hype around the reproductive health claims of Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp) justified? J. Ethnopharmacol., 2018, 211, 126-170.
[66]
Gauthaman, K.; Adaikan, P.D.; Prasad, R. Aphrodisiac properties of Tribulus terrestris extract (Protodioscin) in normal and castrated rats. Life Sci., 2002, 71, 1385-1396.
[67]
Keskes-Ammar, L.; Feki-Chakroun, N.; Rebai, T.; Sahnoun, Z.; Ghozzi, H.; Hammami, S. Sperm oxidative stress and the effect of an oral vitamin E and selenium supplement on semen quality in infertile men. Arch. Androl., 2003, 49(2), 83-94.
[68]
Riley, A.J. Yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder. Br. J. Clin. Pract., 1994, 133-136.


Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

VOLUME: 20
ISSUE: 2
Year: 2019
Page: [114 - 122]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1389201019666180925140400
Price: $58

Article Metrics

PDF: 32
HTML: 7
PRC: 1