Folic Acid and Zinc Supplementation Trial (FAZST)
Among healthy couples trying to conceive, fewer than 20% get pregnant each month. Part of this low pregnancy success rate could be due to insufficient intake of two micronutrients, folic acid and zinc, which are fundamental to the process of sperm development and several aspects of reproduction. Available data suggest that folic acid and zinc supplementation in men may improve the chances of becoming pregnant. This is of particular interest since folic acid and zinc are widely available at low cost.
With this in mind, 2400 couples seeking help with their fertility challenges were recruited into a clinical trial to assess the effects of a special formulation of folic acid and zinc, provided as a dietary supplement for the male partner, on semen quality and pregnancy rates. This study was conducted at several clinics in collaboration with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Enrollment for this new study for male fertility was completed in December 2017, with follow-up continuing throughout 2018. We eagerly await the results of the FAZST trial which has the potential to revolutionize the way we understand and study male reproductive health.