Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 147, Issue 1–3, pp 251–260 | Cite as

Selenium-Enriched Probiotics Improves Murine Male Fertility Compromised by High Fat Diet

  • Hala A. M. Ibrahim
  • Yongxing Zhu
  • Cong Wu
  • Chenhui Lu
  • Michael O. Ezekwe
  • Shengfa F. LiaoEmail author
  • Kehe HaungEmail author


A total of 75 male mice were allotted to five groups of 15 each in a completely randomized experimental design to study the effects of probiotics, inorganic selenium, and selenium-enriched probiotics on male fertility in hyperlipidemic status. The mice in group 1 were fed a normal basal diet and served as negative control. The mice in group 2 were fed a high fat diet and served as positive control. The mice in groups 3, 4, and 5 were fed the high fat diet supplemented with probiotics, inorganic selenium, and selenium-enriched probiotics, respectively. The high fat diet was composed of 15% lard, 1% cholesterol, 0.3% cholic acid, and 83.7% basal diet. Over 90% of the selenium in the selenium-enriched probiotics was present in forms of organic selenium. After the mice were fed these diets for 75 days, serumal total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein, and testosterone levels, plus sperm index (count, motility and abnormalities), penis length, and weight and histopathology of testes were measured. The results showed that in the mice fed the high fat diet were significant (P < 0.01) elevations of serumal total cholesterol, triglycerides and low density lipoprotein, and decreases of high density lipoprotein. The high fat diet caused a decline in serumal testosterone level, reduced semen quality, and atrophy and degeneration of seminiferous tubules. No effects on penis length or relative weight of testis were observed. Supplementation of probiotics, inorganic selenium, or selenium-enriched probiotics to the high fat diet significantly alleviated (P < 0.05) the adverse effects of hyperlipidemia by reducing testicular tissue injury, increasing serumal testosterone level, and improving sperm indexes. It was concluded that hyperlipidemia had significant adverse effects on male fertility, which could be ameliorated at various degrees by feeding the diets supplemented with probiotics, inorganic selenium, or selenium-enriched probiotics. Selenium-enriched probiotics or inorganic selenium supplementation gave better results than probiotics supplementation and may be used to improve animal and human male fertility compromised by hyperlipidemia or obesity.


Selenium-enriched probiotics Selenium Probiotics Male fertility Hyperlipidemia Mouse 



Colony forming unit


High density lipoprotein




High fat diet


Inorganic form of selenium or sodium selenite


Low density lipoprotein




Negative control


Organic form of selenium


Selenium-enriched probiotics that contain organic form of selenium






Standard error of the means


Total cholesterol





This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers: 30871892, 31011130155) and by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions. We thank Professor A. A. Jameel, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan, for reviewing the manuscript. Appreciation also goes to Ms. F. Tang for her help in diet preparation and Mr. M. O. A. Abdelrahim for his available support throughout the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hala A. M. Ibrahim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongxing Zhu
    • 1
  • Cong Wu
    • 1
  • Chenhui Lu
    • 1
  • Michael O. Ezekwe
    • 3
  • Shengfa F. Liao
    • 3
    Email author
  • Kehe Haung
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Nutritional and Metabolic Disorders of Domestic Animals and FowlsNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary MedicineSudan University of Science and TechnologyKhartoum NorthSudan
  3. 3.Department of AgricultureAlcorn State UniversityAlcorn StateUSA

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