Among other things, taking vitamin A in daily dietary supplements can ensure healthier teeth, skin, hair and bones, according to the National Institutes of Health. Recent research into blocking vitamin A receptors has found a drug that prevents uptake of the nutrient in specific sites in the body, resulting in a unique effect.
Scientists at the Columbia University Medical Center announced that a class of medications called retinoic acid receptor antagonists (RARAs) might constitute the first non-steroid-based male birth control pill ever made.
Retinoic acid is a metabolite of vitamin A, one that is critical to numerous cellular processes in the body. Doctors have long known that vitamin A deficiencies can result in male sterility, but only recently has this phenomenon been harnessed in a targeted way.
Rather than preventing the body from absorbing vitamin A, which would be physically disastrous, RARAs can prevent the uptake of the nutrient only in targeted areas, resulting in the cessation of sperm production. The team happily noted that when RARAs were discontinued in the lab, sperm production quickly went back to normal.
For men who want to ensure the opposite namely, the fertile production of sperm consuming a healthy diet and taking a daily vitamin supplement may be a good start.