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Antioxidant intake may influence semen quality

March 9, 2012

According to a new Spanish study, increased intake of antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene could improve the number of motile sperm and semen volume in young men.

To investigate potential associations between the dietary intake of antioxidant nutrients and semen parame-ters in young men, the epidemiological study included 215 healthy young men. Researchers analyzed parti-cipants’ semen quality (semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility, sperm morphology, total sperm count and total motile sperm count) and measured their dietary antioxidant intake by a validated food frequency questionnaire (1). The study results showed a positive association between dietary intake of vitamin C, lycopene, beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin and total motile sperm count. Semen volume increased with higher intake of vitamin C.

The researchers commented that while previous studies in this area have focused mainly on men attending fertility clinics, these new study results are more generalizable to young men of the general population who have never questioned their fertility. Nonetheless, they added that some of their results are in agreement with previously reported papers. A few earlier reports have already suggested that some dietary factors might be related to semen quality.

References

  1. Mínguez-Alarcón L. et al. Dietary intake of antioxidant nutrients is associated with semen quality in young university students. Human Reproduction. 2012; 27(9):2807–2814.