A striking 2022 study revealed that, in the last 50 years, the average sperm concentration and total sperm counts have been dropping worldwide. In addition, up to 7% of men are estimated to be suffering from infertility, with the man contributing to about 50% of fertility problems in a heterosexual couple. Amid this concerning trend, many individuals turn to conventional methods like hormonal therapy or surgery in the quest to increase sperm counts. Recently, a natural alternative has been gaining attention — velvet bean.
Velvet beans may increase sperm production, motility, and viability.
Velvet bean's beneficial effects on male infertility are due to its high L-DOPA content. It works by boosting the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that has positive effects on sperm and reproductive health-related parameters.
Velvet beans may improve overall male infertility by promoting sperm production, increasing testosterone levels, and enhancing libido.
It is important to follow the recommended 500 mg to 1,000 mg dosage per day. High dosage intake can lead to negative side effects, such as nausea/vomiting, headaches, insomnia, vivid dreams, and allergic reactions.
This article details the velvet bean's potential to increase sperm count and reverse male infertility. We describe how velvet beans work to improve male fertility, how to take velvet beans, and safety and side effect considerations.
What are velvet beans?
The velvet bean, scientifically known as Mucuna pruriens, is a tropical legume native to India and Asia, recognized for its medicinal and agricultural significance. It produces vibrant green pods containing seeds covered in a velvety fuzz, hence its name. Velvet beans are traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Velvet beans are noted for their rich content of the compound levodopa (L-DOPA), a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine, making it valuable in treating Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions.
Velvet bean is also known by other English common names: monkey tamarind, cowage, cowitch, Kapikachhu, lacuna bean, Lyon bean, Bengal velvet bean, Florida velvet bean, Mauritius velvet bean, and Yokohama velvet bean.
Do velvet beans increase sperm count?
Yes. Velvet beans may increase sperm counts. In fact, velvet beans have been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to support male fertility. Several pieces of research evidence also support its promising effects on men. For example, studies found that treatment with velvet bean extract significantly increased sperm count, motility, and viability in infertile men. In healthy men, results also showed improved sperm parameters after velvet bean supplementation.
How velvet bean increases sperm count
The high levels of L-DOPA in velvet beans enhance men’s dopamine production, which supports sperm production and ultimately improves reproductive health. Detailed studies show that dopamine is important in sperm production. Clinical studies have demonstrated that boosting dopamine levels significantly improves semen parameters and sperm production.
Animal studies also found that velvet beans can restore sperm counts in rats with impaired sperm production due to estrogen exposure. It works by ameliorating free radical reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, restoring mitochondrial function, and regulating apoptosis (cell death).
Velvet beans also improve fertility by reducing prolactin levels. In men, elevated prolactin levels (hyperprolactinemia) in the body can suppress hypothalamic and pituitary functions, which compromises sperm production, count, and quality. Indeed, hyperprolactinemia is a common characteristic in infertile men. Velvet beans can lower prolactin levels which promote the body to start producing more sperm.
How velvet beans improve male fertility
Velvet beans have several action mechanisms beneficial in promoting male fertility. However, more research and large-scale clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings and establish effectiveness.
Velvet beans may improve fertility and reproductive health and combat sexual dysfunction by:
- Enhancing sperm count, motility, and viability
- Boosting libido as an aphrodisiac
- Increasing testosterone levels
How to take velvet bean for male fertility
When considering using velvet beans for male fertility, it is important to determine the appropriate dosage based on individual needs and consultation with a healthcare professional. Specific dosages may also vary depending on factors such as age, weight, and overall health.
Here are general guidelines for taking velvet bean for male fertility safely:
- Start with a low dosage and gradually increase. Begin with a low dose, typically around 500 to 1000 mg of velvet bean extract or powder per day. If well-tolerated, users may gradually increase the dosage over time and observe their response. Up to 5 g has been tested in human studies to improve sperm qualities.
- Split the dosage. Instead of taking the entire daily dosage at once, users should consider dividing it into two or three smaller doses throughout the day. This can help maintain more stable levels of the active compounds.
- Evaluate effectiveness and tolerance. People taking velvet beans should pay attention to changes in fertility-related factors and observe their body's response to supplementation. A healthcare professional may recommend adjusting the dosage based on progress if needed.
- Follow a healthcare professional's guidance. Consulting a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a fertility specialist, for personalized advice on the dosage and duration of velvet bean supplementation specific to one needs is essential.
- Purchase velvet bean products from reputable sources. People taking velvet beans should only buy from trusted suppliers or retailers prioritizing quality, authenticity, and safety. This ensures they get genuine velvet bean products that meet quality standards and have undergone proper testing.
The dosages mentioned above are general guidelines and should not replace professional medical advice. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage based on individual circumstances and health conditions.
Side effects of velvet bean
While velvet beans (Mucuna pruriens) offer potential benefits, they also have side effects, particularly when used improperly or in excessive amounts.
Some possible side effects of velvet bean consumption include:
- Nausea and vomiting. Velvet beans contain L-DOPA, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea and vomiting, especially if taken in high doses.
- Headaches. Some individuals may experience headaches as a side effect of velvet bean use. This can occur due to changes in dopamine levels in the brain.
- Hypotension. Velvet beans may lower blood pressure, leading to symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. People with low blood pressure or those taking medications that lower blood pressure should exercise caution.
- Insomnia and vivid dreams. Velvet beans' L-DOPA content can affect sleep patterns, potentially leading to insomnia or vivid dreams. It is recommended to take velvet bean supplements earlier in the day to minimize these effects.
- Allergic reactions. Some individuals may be allergic to velvet beans. Skin irritation, itching, and rashes can occur upon contact with the fuzzy coating of the beans.
Note that individual responses to velvet beans vary. Some people may tolerate them, while others may experience more pronounced side effects.
Overall, velvet beans may increase sperm production, motility, and viability, as supported by current research evidence. Velvet beans' potential in reversing male infertility problems is promising. However, large-scale clinical studies are needed to establish safety and effectiveness. If you are interested in velvet bean supplementation, consult your doctor for more personalized advice to avoid adverse reactions.
Does velvet bean increase sperm count?
Yes. Velvet beans have been traditionally used as a natural remedy to potentially enhance sperm production. In addition to improved sperm counts, further studies also show that velvet beans promote sperm motility and viability, leading to improved overall male fertility.
Does velvet bean increase testosterone?
Yes. Velvet beans have been suggested to potentially increase testosterone levels. They contain a compound called L-DOPA, which may support the production of testosterone. However, individual results may vary, and it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using any supplements or herbal remedies for testosterone enhancement.
What are velvet beans good for?
Velvet beans have various potential benefits and are traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine in India and Asia. They are rich in antioxidants and have potential neuroprotective properties attributed to their ability to enhance dopamine production. In addition, velvet beans may support male fertility, increase testosterone levels, enhance libido, aid in stress management, and promote a positive mood.
- Human Reproduction Update. Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of samples collected globally in the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Fertility and Sterility. Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis.
- Translational Andrology and Urology. Medical treatment of male infertility.
- Arab Journal of Urology. Hyperprolactinaemia in male infertility: Clinical case scenarios.
- Reproductive Medicine and Biology. High concentration of dopamine treatment may induce acceleration of human sperm motility.
Show all references
- Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. The Magic Velvet Bean of Mucuna pruriens.
- Fertility and Sterility. Effect of Mucuna pruriens on semen profile and biochemical parameters in seminal plasma of infertile men.