A daily yoga routine significantly improve sperm quality, according to a study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The study, which was published in Nature Review Urology, an international medical journal, early this year, was conducted by experts in the Department of Anatomy at AIIMS in collaboration with the Department of Urology and Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The major cause of defective sperm function is DNA damage. The quality of genetic components in sperm are vital for the birth of a healthy offspring, said Dr. Rima Dada, Professor-in-charge of Laboratory of Molecular Reproduction and Genetics, Department of Anatomy at AIIMS.
"Sperm DNA damage is the common underlying cause of idiopathic infertility, idiopathic recurrent spontaneous abortion, and congenital malformations. Sperm DNA damage also leads to increased chances of denovo germline mutations and accumulation of mutagenic bases. This leads to the offspring being at increased risk of genetic and epigenetic disorders and thus adversely affects health trajectory of the offspring," Dr. Dada said.
The major cause of DNA damage is oxidative stress, a condition in which there is an imbalance between free radical levels and anti-oxygen capacity in the body.
Of all the cells in the body, the male germ cell is the most vulnerable to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can be caused by various internal and external factors like environmental pollution, exposure to insecticides and pesticides, electromagnetic radiation, infection, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and nutritionally depleted fast food.
All these factors are preventable and simple modifications in our lifestyle can positively improve the DNA quality which in turn can reduce incidents of male infertility.
Performing yoga regularly reduces oxidative stress, decreases DNA damage and aids in the maintenance of telomere lengths, Dr. Rima Dada said.
This study was done in 200 men who practiced yoga for 6 months.
"We observed a significant decline in seminal oxidative stress (within 21 days) and improvement in DNA quality (6 months). There was a decrease in inflammation and normalization in levels of sperm transcripts and maintenance of telomere length. There was a reduction in severity of depression, stress and anxiety scores, she said.
This could be explained by an increase in levels of certain chemicals which increase neuroplasticity.
Yoga reduces the rate of aging by decreasing free radical levels, decreasing DNA damage and maintaining telomere length by decreasing oxidative stress and upregulating telomerase activity.
A routinely regulated sleep time is of the utmost importance to our health. Interestingly, inadequate sleep meddles with the functioning of the brain and can wreak havoc on the overall synchrony of various bodily processes including the endocrine system. The National Sleep Foundation, US, recommends close to 7-9 hours of sleep for people ageing between 18 years to 64 years. Erratic sleep time for those who work till late hours or pull off night shifts also affects health adversely.
A recent study links regular sleep pattern with the quality of sperm in men. Experts from the Harbin Medical University in China studied close to thousand male participants and concluded that those who turned in between 8 and 10 pm reported best sperm mortality. This indicated that their sperm had greater chance of fertilizing an egg as compared to other participants who had late sleeping pattern.The participants were also told to set their alarms so they got six hours' sleep or less, seven to eight hours, or nine hours or longer. Scientists took regular semen samples to check sperm count, shape and motility.
The study was published in the journal Medical Science Monitor and reported that sleeping for six hours or less made this even worse, as did lying in bed for more than nine hours. Late bedtimes and inadequate rest are harmful because they increase levels of anti-sperm antibody -- a type of protein produced by the immune system which can destroy healthy sperm. A previously published study had revealed that men getting six hours a night had sperm count that was 25 per cent lower than the the men who slept for full eight hours.
How to sleep better
If you feel that you try too hard but just can doze off as soon as you hit the bed, try analysing few things about your sleep pattern and some associated factors. Make sure that you eat your last meal at least two hours before you plan to sleep. Ditch those devices at least 45 minutes before you are about to doze off. Taking a hot water shower before turning in helps induce sleep. Make sure the lights are dimmed or switched off in your room. A bit of perfumery also helps transpose you to the world of slumber. Listen to music if that helps you relax. Wear light, loose clothing - nothing suffocating or tight. Check your posture while sleeping. Your mattress and pillows should also be comfortable.
Sings of inadequate sleep
The National Sleep Foundation describes the following as symptoms of lack of proper sleep:
- Feeling sleepy while driving.
- Feeling irritable, tired or fatigued throughout the day.
इन विट्रो फर्टिलायजेशन (IVF) मार्फत बाळाचा विचार करणाऱ्या कपल्ससाठी अत्यंत महत्वाची आणि आनंदाची बातमी. संशोधकांनी असं एक उपकरण शोधून काढलं आहे ते अगदी सुदृढ आणि मजबूत शुक्राणुंना ओळखू शकतो. आतापर्यंत चांगल्या स्पर्मचा काऊंट शोधणं अतिशय कठीण आणि थकवणारे काम होते.
या टेस्टमध्ये आतापर्यंत अनेक तास लागायचे यामुळे स्पर्मची गुणवत्ता कमी होण्याची शक्यता होती. पण या संशोधनामुळे तो प्रश्न देखील सुटला आहे. अमेरिकेतील कॉरनेल युनिर्व्हसिटीच्या मुख्याध्यापिका अलिरेजाने सांगितलं की, चांगल्या क्वालिटीचे स्पर्म ओळखण या आधी कठिण होतं. मात्र या नव्या उपकरणामुळे स्पर्म काऊंट ओळखणे सहज शक्य आहे.
या उपकरणामुळे अनेक तासांचा काम अगदी सहज 5 मिनिटांत होतात. चांगले स्पर्म तेच मानले जातात जे फ्लोच्या विरूद्ध दिशेला टिकून राहतात. यामुळे सर्वात प्रथम मायक्रेफ्लूडित चॅनल बनवलं. ज्यामद्ये स्पर्म तरंगतात आणि ही प्रक्रिया भिंतीप्रमाणे करते ज्यांमध्ये चांगले स्पर्म एका बाजूला होतात. हा रिसर्च पीएनएएस नावाच्या जर्नलमध्ये छापला आहे.
एका शोधाप्रमाणे किमान 75 ग्राम अक्रोड नियमित घेतल्याने पुरुषांच्या शुक्राणू जीवन शक्ती आणि वीर्य गुणवत्ते सुधारणा होऊ शकते.
उंदरावर केलेल्या अध्ययनाप्रमाणे ज्या उंदरांनी अक्रोडाहून 19.6 टक्के कॅलरी (मनुष्यांमध्ये सुमारे 2.5 औंस) सेवन केली, त्यांनी लिपिड पेरोक्सिडेशन कमी करून शुक्राणू गुणवत्तेत उल्लेखनीय सुधार केले.
चांगले शुक्राणू कसे प्राप्त करावे
अमेरिकेत झालेल्या शोधाप्रमाणे अक्रोड खाण्याने शुक्राणू पेशींमध्ये पेरोक्सिडेटिव नुकसान कमी करून गुणवत्तेत सुधार करण्यास मदत करतं.
या अध्ययन आनुवंशिक रूपाने नापीक उंदरावर केले गेले ज्याने 11 आठवडे अक्रोडयुक्त आहार देण्यात आले. अक्रोड सेवन केल्याने प्रजनन योग्य उंदरांमध्ये शुक्राणूंची गतिशीलता आणि आकारात सुधार दिसून आला जेव्हाकी नापीक उंदरांमध्ये शुक्राणूंच्या आकृतीमध्ये सुधार दिसला. दोन्ही गटात पेरोक्सिडेटिव नुकसान कमी झालेलं आढळले.