You've been upping the romance, having sex on the reg, and eating the 30 Best Proteins for Your Penis. Basically, you’re doing everything you can to boost your chances of conceiving, but there’s still no news of a baby on board. It’s beyond frustrating, we know. But, there’s a beacon of hope for wannabe parents, and it comes to us in the form of a pill made from a vegetable few would consider "sexy": the tomato.
Why tomatoes? Back in 2014, a Cleveland Clinic study found that lycopene—the chemical that gives tomatoes and watermelon their rich red hue—helps boost male fertility and sperm quality by an impressive 70 percent! After this finding came to light, lycopene has become the center of a study at Sheffield University in the UK, a nation where one in six couples are unable to conceive. In an attempt to aid their nation’s fertility problem, Sheffield researchers created an over-the-counter lycopene supplement called XY Pro that’s said to double levels of blood lycopene and subsequently supercharge sperm counts.
RELATED: Best Foods to Eat for Virility
“Studies elsewhere in the world have shown that the antioxidant properties of lycopene seem to have a beneficial effect on sperm quality and we want to investigate this further,” says lead study author and male infertility expert Professor Allan Pacey.
To see if their magic fertility pill is indeed magical, Pacry and his team recruited 60 healthy male students and university staff members between the ages of 18 to 30. Over the course of the three-month study, half of the participants will be given twice-daily lycopene supplements while the other gents will be given identical placebos. To measure levels of blood lycopene and fertility, sperm and blood samples will be collected at the beginning of the study and then again halfway through and at the end of the experiment. To ensure the final study results are legit, neither the participants nor the research team will know who receives the placebo treatment.
“Production of sperm takes three months. This study will tell us if lycopene improves the quality of sperm already in development by reducing DNA damage, and whether it produces an overall increase in the number of mature sperm produced overall,” Pacey explains.
This cutting-edge study has the potential to help so many couples grow their families—so we’ll be anxiouslly awaiting the results! In the meantime, it couldn’t hurt to add more red fruits and veggies to your plate. Who knows? Doing so may just up your odds of conceiving a little bundle of joy!