A survey of micronutrient intake (vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, and folate) among 80 nonsmoking men aged 22 to 80 years with no reported fertility problems demonstrated that those with the highest intake of vitamin C had approximately 16% less sperm DNA damage than those with the lowest intake.

Similar findings were noted for vitamin E, folate, and zinc, but not for beta-carotene, according to findings published online in Fertility and Sterility. Andy J. Wyrobek, PhD, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., and colleagues also found that among men older than age 44 years, those with the highest vitamin C intake had approximately 20% less sperm DNA damage than those with the lowest intake, with similar findings for vitamin E and zinc.

Members of this age group with the highest intake of thee micronutrients showed levels of sperm damage similar to those of men younger than age 44 years. The younger men, however, did not benefit from higher intakes of the micronutrients surveyed.

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