Synthetic Antioxidants

  • Edmund Y. KoEmail author
  • John C. Kefer
  • Ashok Agarwal
  • Edmund Sabanegh


Male factor infertility is responsible for approximately 25% of all infertility issues. Suboptimal semen quality is a common yet poorly understood cause of male infertility. Environmental factors such as oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) have recently been implicated as contributing to poor semen quality. Causes of increased ROS in men with suboptimal sperm quality are actively being investigated, and multiple options for therapy are under investigation. ROS have been shown to induce cellular injury by a variety of mechanisms, and antioxidants, which scavenge and inactivate ROS, have been shown to protect cells against this damage. There are many forms of antioxidants. Antioxidants are found endogenously in cell signaling pathways, as well as exogenously in fruits and vegetables (natural antioxidants), or as individual isolates in vitamins or dietary supplements (synthetic antioxidants) Here, we define synthetic antioxidants and discuss the cellular mechanisms by which synthetic antioxidants may improve oxidative stress levels and semen quality in men with male factor infertility.


Male factor infertility Reactive oxygen species Oxidative stress Natural antioxidants Synthetic antioxidants Leukocytospermia Vitamin toxicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edmund Y. Ko
    • 1
    Email author
  • John C. Kefer
    • 2
  • Ashok Agarwal
    • 3
  • Edmund Sabanegh
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Male Fertility, Department of Urology, Center for Reproductive MedicineGlickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Alpine UrologyBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Center for Reproductive MedicineGlickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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