Lycopene Benefits for Sperm

We discuss various nutrients and dietary supplements in this article that may or may not be helpful. If you purchase recommended products, services, or treatments, it may benefit CNY Fertility financially. Read more about our financial relationships here. The supplements discussed in this article are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, take any medications, or have been diagnosed with a medical condition, consult with a healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement.

By CNY Fertility Updated on
Lycopene Benefits for Sperm

Lycopene is an organic pigment and antioxidant that gives some vegetables and fruits their red color.  As a powerful antioxidant, Lycopene has been shown in some studies to help support numerous aspects of men’s health, including sperm quality and male fertility.   Lycopene’s has been shown to benefit sperm in the following ways:

  • Sperm Count: The number of sperm present in a semen sample.  
  • Sperm Motility: Motility is the ability of sperm to move the right way.  
  • Sperm Morphology: The size, shape, and appearance of sperm.  

Sperm health is usually evaluated with a semen analysis. The chart below depicts normal semen analysis results according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

MeasureWHO Reference Range
Total Motility40-81%
Total Sperm Count39-928 million

Lycopene can be found in fruits like tomatoes, carrots, watermelon grapefruits, and papayas.  It can also be found in some male fertility supplements.

This article will discuss all things related to lycopene and sperm health and how to get more of it into your body!

How Does Lycopene Increase and Protect Sperm Quality?

Researchers believe that lycopene’s ability to improve sperm quality is a result of its antioxidant properties.

Research demonstrates that excessive amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) cause a state of oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can result in DNA damage, sperm membrane lipid peroxidation, apoptosis, and lead to a decrease in sperm viability and motility.

As an antioxidant, Lycopene protects against ROS which makes spermatozoa less vulnerable to oxidative damage.

Lycopene and Sperm Count

Sperm count plays an important role in male fertility.  The fewer sperm a man ejaculates, the less likely it is that a sperm will naturally meet up with a woman’s egg in the female reproductive tract. Low sperm count can be a sign of several underlying health conditions and low sperm count is frequently associated with other measures of poor sperm quality.

Many different studies have shown that lycopene can improve sperm counts.   In one study, lycopene was found to increase men’s sperm counts by as much as 70%.

Lycopene and Sperm Motility

Lycopene supplementation has been shown to have a positive effect on sperm motility in several different studies.

Lycopene’s ability to significantly increase sperm motility is important for male fertility because sperm need to move through the woman’s reproductive tract to reach and fertilize her egg.

In one study, lycopene increased patient’s sperm motility by 54%.

Lycopene and Sperm Morphology

Abnormal sperm morphology can negatively impact fertility and decrease the chances of successful fertilization. If sperm morphology is poor, sperm may have a misshaped head, an extra head, no head, or no tail.  Decreased sperm morphology can have many causes, including genetic traits, exposure to chemicals, and too much heat.   

Lycopene’s antioxidant properties help to protect sperm from oxidative stress and other types of degradation that can harm sperm morphology.  Several studies have shown that lycopene supplementation can help to improve sperm morphology.

In one study, the proportion of sperm morphology increased by 40% after men supplemented with lycopene supplements daily for 12 weeks.

How to Get Lycopene

Foods that Contain Lycopene

The redder and more aged the tomatoes, the higher the concentration of lycopene. Sun-dried tomatoes contain the highest concentration of lycopene and they are one of many fruits that are known to increase sperm count and male fertility.  Check out the chart below to see how much lycopene is in other common foods:

FoodAmount of Lycopene per 100mg
Sun-dried tomatoes45.9 mg
Tomato Purée21.8 mg
Guava5.2 mg
Watermelon4.5 mg
Fresh tomatoes3.0 mg
Papaya1.8 mg

If you don’t eat a ton of tomatoes or the foods included in the chart above, you may wish to consider a lycopene supplement, or even better a fertility supplement that contains lycopene along with other vitamins and nutrients that are known to support male fertility.  

Male Fertility Supplements

Getting optimal levels of the many different nutrients known to positively impact fertility, like lycopene, can be difficult and in some cases impossible through diet alone. Because of this, we at CNY Fertility, recommend supplements with a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins known to support various aspects of sperm quality and male reproductive health. There are many different male fertility supplements available, so be sure to do your research before purchasing. 

At CNY Fertility, we recommend Molecular Fertility.

One fertility supplement that we especially recommend for supporting sperm health is Molecular Fertility’s Male Preconception+.  This supplement contains a patented and trademarked form of lycopene which is the only lycopene used in dietary supplements made from fresh whole tomatoes.  Molecular Fertility’s Male Preconception+  has been designed to help support male fertility and contains zinc, CoQ10, vitamin D, ashwagandha, carnitine, Vitamin C, and many other vitamins.

The Bottom Line on Lycopene’s Benefit for Sperm

Lycopene’s benefits for sperm are demonstrated through research and are numerous.  Lycopene’s benefits for men’s overall health are also well documented.  Anyone who is looking to improve their sperm parameters after undergoing male fertility testing should consider getting more lycopene through diet or supplementation.  

Increasing your lycopene levels is just one of many ways to boost male fertility.  


Article Sources