Male infertility accounts for ~50% infertility among couples trying to conceive, with oligospermia (low sperm count) recognized as the single most prevalent cause of reduced male fertility. [1,2] This is due to a combination of factors, including age-induced reductions of fertility hormones (including testosterone), genetics, environmental factors, stress, and lifestyle decisions (e.g. smoking, drinking, sleeping poorly, etc.). It has also been documented that high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the semen can induce oxidative damage to the sperm, thereby leading to infertility.
Over the past few decades, there has been a great deal of progress in developing and researching numerous interventions, including both nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. Although some of these products have been withdrawn, this has helped to ensure that only the most effective and trustworthy interventions are available to the public, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes.
Furthermore, both traditional use and clinical research supports the viability of natural solutions to help support men’s sexual health, fertility, and testosterone. Among the hundreds of nutraceuticals investigated for helping men regain their virility and vitality, none can match the potency or power of ashwagandha.
KSM-66 Ashwagandha for Men’s Sexual Health, Fertility & Testosterone
A plant whose roots have been used for ~8,000 years to promote strength, stamina, and sexual health, ashwagandha is both a tonic and aphrodisiac. It contains a wide variety of bioactive compounds, including alkaloids, sterols, amino acids, and neurotransmitters, which explains its ability to improve human health both directly and indirectly.
Regarding men’s sexual health, ashwagandha has been shown to improve sexual desire, libido, and testosterone levels — all of which speaks to the multi-factorial benefits the Ayurvedic wonder offers men. Additional insights into how ashwagandha root supports men’s sexual health and fertility can be found in a landmark 2013 pilot study appearing in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
46 men (ages 22-40 years old) with semen factor infertility took part in a 12-week, dual-arm, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to investigate the effects of 225mg of KSM-66 Ashwagandha 3x/day for 12 weeks, for a total daily intake of 775mg, on several markers of male sexual health and fertility.
At the end of the study, men receiving KSM-66 ashwagandha demonstrated a 167% increase in sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume, and 57% increase in sperm motility compared to baseline measurements. Significant improvements were also documented in serum testosterone levels and luteinizing hormone (a hormone that signals the testes to produce testosterone) compared to placebo.
Stress is well-known to adversely affect men’s sexual health, and chronically elevated stress levels are associated with increased oxidative stress that may enhance the generation of reactive oxygen species. As mentioned above, this can negatively affect sperm quality and motility. Also, keep in mind that chronic elevations in cortisol can reduce testosterone levels and impair sleep, both of which can also decrease men’s sexual health.
Research indicates that ashwagandha can improve the levels of certain antioxidant enzymes (e.g. superoxide dismutase, SOD) as well as glutathione (a “master” antioxidant in the body), and KSM-66 ashwagandha has been shown multiple times to effectively reduce stress and cortisol levels, providing other avenues by which it contributes to the significant improvement in sperm concentration and motility, fertility, and men’s sexual health.[3,6,7]
Global fertility rates have been declining over the past 50 years, and multiple factors are at play, including male infertility. Backed by numerous clinical trials (with more in the works), KSM-66 ashwagandha offers a safe, natural, and effective means for men both young and old to support sexual health, fertility, and testosterone levels.
- Gaunay, G.S., Cohen, S.D., Stahl, P.J., Stember, D.S. (2014). Hypogonadism and Infertility. In: Mulhall, J., Hsiao, W. (eds) Men’s Sexual Health and Fertility. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0425-9_10
- Moyad, M.A. (2014). Nutraceuticals for Fertility and Erectile Health: A Brief Overview of What Works and What Is Worthless. In: Mulhall, J., Hsiao, W. (eds) Men’s Sexual Health and Fertility. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0425-9_12
- M. K. Ahmad, A. A. Mahdi, K. K. Shukla et al., “Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males,” Fertility and Sterility, vol. 94, no. 3, pp. 989–996, 2010.
- A. A. Mahdi, K. K. Shukla, M. K. Ahmad et al., “Withania somnifera improves semen quality in stress-related male fertility,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2011, Article ID 576962, 9 pages, 2011
- Ambiye, V. R., Langade, D., Dongre, S., Aptikar, P., Kulkarni, M., & Dongre, A. (2013). Clinical evaluation of the spermatogenic activity of the root extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in oligospermic males: A pilot study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 6–11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/571420
- Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 43.
- Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 34(3), 255.