The wondrous health benefits of Rooibos never cease to amaze – it’s even able to help men become more fertile…
Scientists claim that sperm counts have halved over the past 50 years. According to a 15-year-long study done by the University of Copenhagen, sperm counts in the 1940s were typically well above 100-million sperm cells per millilitre. This has dropped to an average of about 60-million.
Other studies found that close to 20 percent of young men between the ages of 18 and 25 now find themselves with sperm counts of less than 20 million per ml, which is technically defined as abnormal by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Male infertility is the reason for up to 40 percent of South African couples failing to conceive, and a low sperm count is cited as a major contributing factor.
What causes a low sperm count?
Although scientists are still not clear on what could be influencing this change in men’s reproductive status, they blame various environmental and lifestyle factors, including that of maternal-lifestyle factors in pregnancy over the past five decades, for the general decline in sperm production.
Among the strongest pieces of evidence in support of this notion emanates from studies done among cigarette smokers. A man who smokes reduces his sperm count by 15 percent, however a man whose mother smoked during pregnancy, has a sperm count that is significantly lower by up to 40 percent.
Obesity has also been linked with reproductive problems and reduced sperm quality in men. While male infertility can be frustrating, it is rewarding to know that by making the appropriate lifestyle changes, such as exercising, quitting smoking and eating right, a man’s sperm count can be boosted. Another natural remedy to assist men faced with these challenges may be Rooibos.
Rooibos saves the day
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the South African Rooibos Council, cites a study conducted by the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). It compared the effects of red Rooibos, green Rooibos, Chinese green tea, and commercial Rooibos and green tea supplements on rat sperm.
The study found that sperm count and motility were significantly higher for rats on red and green Rooibos with their high antioxidant content, than with any of the other groups.
“Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress, which causes degenerative problems at a cellular level on a variety of tissues, from organs to sperm. Although studies were conducted on rodents, Rooibos could potentially have the same positive effect in human men,” remarks du Toit.
Cardiovascular disease is also often a precursor to erectile dysfunction and other male reproductive challenges, which Rooibos can also counter. Du Toit refers to “quercetin”, another powerful antioxidant found in Rooibos, which has been linked to the prevention of a wide variety of heart conditions.
“It promotes HDL (good cholesterol) and inhibits the LDL (bad cholesterol) from adhering to the walls of arteries and blood vessels. This means added protection against various heart conditions, including arteriosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. The bottom line is that if you drink Rooibos, you’re going to reap multiple health benefits and every man should consider it an important beverage that is vital for a healthy lifestyle,” Du Toit concludes.
For more info regarding the health benefits of Rooibos, visit the South African Rooibos Council website.