Lycopene is an organic compound that gives tomatoes their distinctive red color, but recent research has found that taking lycopene may increase fertility in men.
Previous studies, led by Ashok Agarwal, have demonstrated that taking lycopene can boost sperm count by 70%. These studies also showed improvements in swimming speed, and reduced amount of abnormal sperm. Hypothetically, lycopene could protect sperm from DNA damage, increasing the quality of the sperm.
This is the focus of a 2016 study from the University of Sheffield in England. This study involves a 12 week trial that will determine whether or not lycopene can reliably increase fertility in men. The study involves 60 male subjects, ages 18-30, who will be divided into two groups. One group takes a lycopene supplement, and the other takes a placebo. If lycopene does indeed affect fertility, the results should be apparent based on test results on the subject’s sperm and blood.
While the link between lycopene and male fertility is far from concrete, these discoveries may bring new hope and new life to couples trying to have a baby in Minnesota.