Antioxidants as a way to increase male fertility

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Infertility, which affects 15% of the world’s population, is a global problem recognized by the World Health Organization. It is estimated that one in four to five couples experience fertility disorders, which can be observed equally in both men and women.

Despite significant efforts to study the causes of male infertility and its treatment methods, the situation is only getting worse. Thus, between 1973 and 2011, the total number of spermatozoa in the seminal fluid of men worldwide decreased significantly. A decrease in sperm concentration and motility in recent years has been reported in Western countries and India. The progressive deterioration of male reproductive health may be crucial for human reproduction and the preservation of human species.

Male infertility is associated with numerous factors, including environmental and occupational exposure, genetic mutations, various diseases such as testicular cancer, and obesity. However, in 40-60% of cases, it is impossible to clearly determine its cause. As a result, there are difficulties with the choice of treatment method for patients with idiopathic oligoastenozoospermia.

Oxidative stress and fertility disorders

Oxidative stress, which develops against the background of various diseases (for example, infections, diabetes, atherosclerosis) and aging, can provoke a decrease in male fertility, and in some cases lead to male infertility. If for a long time oxidative stress was considered the result of overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), now it is considered as a consequence of redox-deregulation. The reversible oxidation of thiols in the cysteine residues of key proteins acts as an on – off switch that controls sperm function. However, if deregulation occurs, these residues are irreversibly oxidized, leading to malfunction and eventually sperm death.

At low concentrations, ROS have a positive effect: they affect prostaglandin metabolism, endothelial function, participate in the regulation of genes and cell growth, intracellular signaling and other types of signal transduction, and also play an important role in the regulation of antimicrobial defense.

Increase fertility

Some studies found no association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and total testosterone, free testosterone, or sex hormone binding globulin, while other studies showed a positive correlation with total or free testosterone. Vitamin D appears to promote the modulation of bioavailable, but not total, testosterone. The most consistent effect of vitamin D was observed on sperm quality: vitamin D increases sperm motility because it directly affects sperm cells, including non-genomic controlled modulation of intracellular calcium homeostasis and activation of molecular pathways involved in sperm motility, condensation, and acrosome response. This conclusion is supported by data on a stable positive relationship between the levels of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and total sperm motility and / or progressive motility, total sperm count and normal morphology.

Spermatogenesis is an energy-intensive process that requires a sufficient and balanced amount of vitamins and minerals in the body. In this regard, for the correction of male fertility disorders, dietary supplements can be used that can improve the condition of the seminal fluid and the characteristics of spermatozoa.

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