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Minerva Endocrinologica 2020 June;45(2):89-96

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.20.03188-0

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Positive effect of nutraceuticals on sperm DNA damage in selected infertile patients with idiopathic high sperm DNA fragmentation

Andrea DELBARBA 1, Nicola ARRIGHI 2, Paolo FACONDO 3, Carlo CAPPELLI 3, Alberto FERLIN 3

1 Unit of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, ASST Spedali Civili Brescia, Brescia, Italy; 2 Division of Urology, Istituto Clinico Città di Brescia, Brescia, Italy; 3 Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia and Unit of Endocrinology and Metabolism, ASST Spedali Civili Brescia, Brescia, Italy



BACKGROUND: The use of nutraceuticals to improve sperm parameters and male fertility is debatable, even if evidence suggests that selected infertile patients might benefit from their use. In particular, oxidative stress might play a role in idiopathic male infertility, leading to sperm membrane damage and high sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF). The aim of this study was to evaluate, in selected idiopathic infertile men with high SDF, the effect on sperm DNA damage and on standard semen parameters of a nutraceutical formulation containing myoinositol, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, selenium, zinc and B vitamins.
METHODS: The study included 60 idiopathic infertile men with DNA fragmentation index (DFI) >20%. Semen analysis and DFI determination were assessed at baseline and after three months of nutraceutical treatment. Primary outcome was change in DFI.
RESULTS: Semen volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology did not change after treatment. Instead, sperm vitality significantly increased (65.9±11.8% pre-treatment vs. 69.4±9.4% post-treatment, P<0.05) and DFI significantly decreased (33.5±10.1% pre-treatment vs. 26.8±8.7% post-treatment, P=0.0001) after treatment. The percentage of men with normal standard sperm parameters significantly increased (15% vs. 30%, P<0.05). The mean decrease in DFI was -6.7±1.4% and the percentage of men with DFI ≤30% after treatment was 75.0% compared to 48.3% pre-treatment (P<0.005). Higher pre-treatment DFI (and no other parameters) correlated with greater DFI reduction after treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Nutraceuticals might be effective in idiopathic infertile men with high DFI to reduce SDF, increase sperm vitality and globally improve semen parameters.


KEY WORDS: Antioxidants; DNA fragmentation; Male infertility; Dietary supplements; DNA damage

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