Research: PALAN and NAZ, Dep

Listed in Issue 22

Abstract

PALAN and NAZ, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York USA studied levels of antioxidants in human seminal plasma and determined the association between antioxidant concentrations and antisperm antibody titres in immunoinfertile men.

Background

Methodology

Concentrations of antioxidant beta-carotene, lycopene, retinol and alpha-tocopherol in seminal plasma were measured by high pressure liquid chromatography in 37 men, 22 fertile and 15 immunoinfertile, aged 27-35 years. Antisperm antibody titres were determined using the sperm-immobilisation technique (SIT), tray-agglutination technique (TAT) and indirect immunobead test (IBT).

Results

Compared to fertile men, levels of 3 antioxidants - beta-carotene, lycopene and retinol were significantly decreased and concentrations of alpha-tocopherol was significantly increased in seminal plasma in immunoinfertile men. There was a significant linear correlation between the antisperm antibody titre and beta-carotene level measured by IBT, but no significant correlation with the other 3 seminal plasma antioxidants, lycopene, retinol and alpha-tocopherol.

Conclusion

These results indicate for the first time, the presence of antioxidants in local genital tract secretions of men. Modulation of antioxidant concentrations in immunoinfertile men and correlation of antioxidant concentrations with antisperm antibody titrres strongly suggest the involvement of dietary antioxidants in male infertility, especially mediated through immunological factors.

References

Palan P and Naz R. Changes in various antioxidant levels in human seminal plasma related to immunoinfertility. Arch Androl 36(2): 139-43. Mar-Apr 1996.

Comment

This is ground-breaking research and none too soon either, as the proportion of infertile men appears to be dramatically rising.

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