DHA plus vitamin E supplementation improves sperm motility in men
Coadministration of DHA and vitamin E supplements results in increased sperm motility, but no significant changes have been observed in sperm morphology and vitality in asthenozoospermic men, a study has shown.
This factorial, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in infertility clinics in Tehran, Iran, and included idiopathic asthenozoospermic men aged 20–45 years with normal endocrine function. The concentration of spermatozoa and percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa among participants were equal to or above the lower reference limits, according to the fifth edition of the World Health Organization guideline.
Of the 717 men referred to infertility clinics, 180 asthenozoospermic men were randomized to one of four groups based on stratified blocked randomization by age and sperm concentration. Participants took daily 465 mg DHA plus 600 IU vitamin E (DE), 465 mg DHA plus placebo (DP), 600 IU vitamin E plus placebo (EP), or both placebo capsules (PP) for 12 weeks.
The investigators then measured sperm characteristics, oxidative stress of seminal plasma, serum and sperm membrane fatty acids, dietary intakes, anthropometric measurements, and physical activity at baseline and after 12 weeks.
The DE group showed greater mean sperm progressive motility (27.9±2.8) than in the DP (25.7±3.4), EP (26.1±2.8), and PP (25.8±2.6) groups (p<0.05) after the intervention. The DE group also had significantly increased sperm count (p=0.001) and concentration (p=0.044) compared with the other three groups, but no significant between-group difference was noted in other semen parameters after the intervention.
Finally, serum concentrations of n–3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were significantly higher in the DE and DP groups than in the EP and PP groups.