Vol. 17, No. 2, 2008
Issue release date: February 2008
Open Access Gateway
Med Princ Pract 2008;17:108–116
(DOI:10.1159/000112963)
Original Paper
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Indications of the Mechanisms Involved in Improved Sperm Parameters by Zinc Therapy

Omu A.E.a · Al-Azemi M.K.a · Kehinde E.O.b · Anim J.T.c · Oriowo M.A.d · Mathew T.C.e
Departments of aObstetrics and Gynaecology, bSurgery, cPathology, dPharmacology and Toxicology, and eAnatomy (Electron Microscopy Unit), Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre, Kuwait University, Kuwait
email Corresponding Author


 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Asthenozoospermia
  • Zinc therapy
  • Modulation
  • Sperm DNA

 goto top of outline Abstract

Objective: To determine possible indications of the mechanisms involved in improved sperm parameters by zinc therapy in asthenozoospermic men. Subjects and Methods: Forty-five men with asthenozoospermia (≥40% immotile sperm) were randomized into four therapy groups: zinc only: n = 11; zinc + vitamin E: n = 12 and zinc + vitamins E + C: n = 14 for 3 months, and non-therapy control group: n = 8. Semen analysis was done according to WHO guidelines. Malone dialdehyde, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), total antioxidant capacity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase were determined in the semen and serum. Antisperm antibodies IgG, IgM and IgA were evaluated by immunobeads. Sperm chromatin integrity was determined by acid denaturation by acridine orange and sperm apoptosis by light and electron microscopy. The effect of zinc on in vitro induced sperm oxidative stress by NADH was evaluated. Results: Asthenozoospermia was significantly associated with oxidative stress with higher seminal malone dialdehyde (8.8 vs. 1.8 mmol/l, p < 0.001) and TNF-α (60 vs. 12 pg/l, p < 0.001), and low total antioxidant capacity (1.8 vs. 8.4, p < 0.01), SOD (0.8 vs. 3.1, p < 0.01) and glutathione peroxidase (1.6 vs. 4.2, p < 0.05), compared to normozoospermia. Zinc therapy alone, in combination with vitamin E or with vitamin E + C were associated with comparably improved sperm parameters with less oxidative stress, sperm apoptosis and sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI). On the whole, there was no difference in the outcome measures between zinc only and zinc with vitamin E and combination of vitamins E + C. In the in vitro experiment zinc supplementation resulted in significantly lower DFI (14–29%, p < 0.05) compared to zinc deficiency. Conclusion: Zinc therapy reduces asthenozoospermia through several mechanisms such as prevention of oxidative stress, apoptosis and sperm DNA fragmentation.

Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel


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    External Resources

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    External Resources


 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Dr. Alexander E. Omu, FRCOG
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine
HSC, Kuwait University, PO Box 24923
13110 Safat (Kuwait)
Tel. +965 498 6458, Fax +965 533 8906, E-Mail Omu@hsc.edu.kw


 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: February 11, 2007
Revised: July 7, 2007
Published online: February 19, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 3, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 26


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Medical Principles and Practice (International Journal of the Kuwait University Health Sciences Centre)

Vol. 17, No. 2, Year 2008 (Cover Date: February 2008)

Journal Editor: Owunwanne, A. (Kuwait)
ISSN: 1011–7571 (Print), eISSN: 1423–0151 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/MPP


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