Study suggests tomatoes can boost fertility

Tomatoes could have a role in treating male infertility, according to a review of evidence by researchers in the USA and Malaysia.

Tomatoes are one of the richest natural sources of the antioxidant lycopene, from which they gain their red colour. The compound can help prevent sperm degradation, the study claims, with even small doses found to increase male sperm counts by up to 70 per cent.

Human trials have already reported higher pregnancy rates among women whose partners took daily lycopene supplements.

But the study authors added: "Further detailed and extensive research is still required to determine the dosage and the usefulness of lycopene as a treatment for male infertility."

One in six adults suffers fertility problems. Infertility Network UK representative Karen Veness said the study "fits in with the message we are trying to get out that half the time (infertility) is down to problems with sperm function or quality".

The research review was published in the Asian Journal of Andrology.


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