Getting in touch with his inner carnivore is great for his sperm. Beef is high in L-carnitine- an amino acid that protects sperm cells and selenium-.
L-carnitine is an amino acid generated by the liver and kidney that helps break down fats and convert them into cellular energy. It also has antioxidant properties enabling it to serve many important functions at the same time.
All cells contain mitochondria which are responsible for generating energy for the cell. Inside the mitochondria there are a number of enzymes and proteins responsible for breaking down energy that we receive from food. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that helps transport various fats through the mitochondria to be broken down into small molecules that the mitochondria can use to power the cell. In addition, the molecular structure of L-Carnitine enables to it bind to ROS and radicals making it also an antioxidant.
Cellular division requires a lot of energy. Germ cells in the testicles are constantly dividing to form new sperm. With decreased energy, they are not able to divide as well or as rapidly. L-Carnitine also helps ensure baby sperm are safe by protecting them from ROS an radicals which could interrupt their development.
Selenium is a mineral that is found in the ground that is primary used for making glass and electronics. In large doses, it is toxic, but in small doses it is an essential nutrient vital for normal endocrine processes as well as providing protection against certain environmental pollutants.
Like many key nutrients, Selenium does a couple of things. First, it is involved in a number of thyroid processes which help regulate hormones in the body. Second, it has strong antioxidant properties. Third, it plays a critical role in the structural development of sperm.
Selenium helps with a number of molecular processes within the thyroid to ensure that is functions properly. The thyroid plays a critical role in setting your metabolism and determining how sensitive your body is to various hormones. In men, poorly functioning thyroid glands can lead to an increase in prolactin which can interrupt the hormonal signals for proper sperm production.
Another role selenium plays in strengthening male fertility is it actually supports the structural integrity of the sperm by reinforcing the neck piece that connects the head and tail. Stronger necks enable more sperm to maintain motility, live longer and swim better.
Because of the important structural role that selenium plays in sperm, in cases where there is a selenium deficiency the body prioritizes its role in the thyroid and in sperm, lowering concentrations in seminal fluids. Reduced selenium concentration in semen has been shown to correlate with reduced motility. This again is due to its role as an antioxidant which protects sperm from reactive molecules in semen and helps them live longer.