For those couples trying to conceive, the process can be a mixture of excitement, joy, and, at times, frustration. At least, that’s the case for the 12% of men and 13% of women ages 25 to 44 who struggle with fertility issues.
Though modern medicine has pioneered an assortment of hormone treatments, fertility drugs and other medical techniques that can increase the odds of conception, early research suggests that some folk remedies might have measurable, research-proven results.
For those who are curious about possible breakthroughs with Irish moss and fertility, here is a look at the history of Chondrus crispus in folk medicine and how it could rejuvenate pharmaceutical fertility treatments.
A deep-rooted history in folk medicine
There’s a history of Chondrus crispus being used as a way to increase the chances of conception throughout coastal cultures. For women, the folate found in seaweed like Irish moss can, when consumed as part of their regular diet, help to improve pregnancy rates. Plus, the availability of zinc within Irish moss can enhance the quality of eggs, creating a healthy bedrock for more dependable conception.
In parts of the Caribbean, men take red seaweed (in a nutraceutical, gel, or beverage form) as an aphrodisiac in the hopes of increasing their sex drive and conception. Moreover, many of the factors that can contribute to male infertility, conditions such as obesity or varicocele, can be alleviated with the fucoxanthin and oligomannate derived from various seaweed (when combined with other health and lifestyle choices).
Though most of these benefits have been anecdotal up until this point, there are some promising studies that might encourage wider usage of Irish moss in male fertility treatments.
The right dose of red seaweed
In new research conducted at King Saud University, researchers explored the impact of dried red seaweed on the fertility of male brown rats, using them as a model organism to start the analysis. The test subjects were divided into two groups, one pre-treated group and one post-treated group to determine the effectiveness of Chondrus crispus on sperm motility and testosterone levels.
The post-treated rats received a bi-weekly intramuscular injection of a solution containing 1 mg of Chondrus crispus for a 48 day testing period. At the end of the trial, there was a significant increase in the motility of the post-treated rats’ sperm and an insignificant increase in their overall testosterone levels.
Though the sample size is small, the early results are promising and worthy of duplication and investigation in larger-scale studies. With all of the other health benefits of seaweed, there’s definitely a case for men, whether they are looking to improve their likelihood of fathering children or not, to add a healthy dose of seaweed to their diets.
Want to learn more about Irish moss and fertility? Reach out to the Acadian SeaPlus™ team to get information on the latest trials and research.