Nutraceutical therapy in male infertility

Pratik Kanabur, Ranjith Ramasamy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species or reactive nitrogen species can affect male fertility. Sources of reactive oxygen species include but are not limited to lifestyle factors, environmental toxins, medications, and infections. Specifically, in the male genital tract, mitochondria from leukocytes and immature sperm cells create reactive oxygen species. The imbalance of reactive oxygen species and antioxidants can lead to DNA damage, resulting in decreased sperm motility morphology, count and viability. Infertile men have been shown to have an increased level of reactive oxygen species compared to fertile controls. Nutraceuticals are products derived from food that have health benefits, and may include amino acids, isolated nutrients, or dietary supplements. Many of these products have antioxidant properties and can help scavenge reactive oxygen species, thus shifting the balance. Some of the antioxidants that have been studied include CoEnzyme Q10, l-carnitine, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, lycopene, and N-acetylcysteine. Supplementation of these antioxidants in infertile men has been shown to improve semen parameters. In this article, we evaluate the effect of various antioxidants on semen parameters. We recommend that in men with idiopathic infertility who have impaired semen parameters, in particular, decreased sperm motility can be candidates for nutraceutical therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Reproduction
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780128151457
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Antioxidant
  • Mitochondria
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Semen parameters
  • Sperm motility
  • Supplement infertility
  • Vitamin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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