Antioxidants and sperm DNA damage: a clinical perspective
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Infertile men possess substantially more sperm DNA damage than do fertile men, damage that may impact negatively on reproductive outcomes. In this era of assisted reproductive technologies there is mounting concern regarding the safety of utilizing DNA-damaged spermatozoa in this setting. Therefore, it is important to identify strategies that may reduce sperm DNA damage. The purpose of this review is to discuss the rationale for antioxidant therapy in men with sperm DNA damage and to evaluate the data on the efficacy of dietary and in vitro antioxidant preparations on sperm DNA damage.
We reviewed the literature on antioxidants and sperm DNA damage.
To date, the data suggest that dietary antioxidants may be beneficial in reducing sperm DNA damage, particularly, in men with high levels of DNA fragmentation. However, the mechanism of action of dietary antioxidants has not been established and most of the clinical studies are small. A beneficial effect of in vitro antioxidant supplements in protecting sperm DNA from exogenous oxidants has been demonstrated, however, the effect of these antioxidants in protecting sperm from endogenous ROS, gentle sperm processing and cryopreservation has not been established.
KeywordsSperm DNA fragmentation Oxidative stress Vitamins Sperm washing Male infertility
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