Role of antioxidants in male infertility

Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that between 50 and 80 million people worldwide suffer from infertility, with male factors accounting for between 20 and 30 percent of all cases.

The 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) (Geneva: In male infertility, the connection between poor semen quality and oxidative stress (OS) is well-known. Alterations in semen ejection, the absence or low levels of sperm, or sperm morphology and motility alterations are common causes. OS is caused by an imbalance between antioxidant defenses and reactive oxygen species (ROS).

in male infertility Role of antioxidants

Several natural antioxidants, including inositol, alpha-lipoic acid, zinc, folate, coenzyme Q10, selenium, and vitamins, have been shown to improve sperm quality by acting as a defense against OS.


Myoinositol (myo-ins) is the most common form of inositol found in nature. Myo-ins have been shown to improve sperm progress and total motility by increasing mitochondrial ATP production and protecting against abnormal sperm morphology in in-vitro studies.

Due to their role in mitochondrial reactions, myo-Ins regulate OS levels in sperm cells, aid in the restoration of some hormone balance in men who are infertile, and are involved in a number of processes that favor sperm production and the interactions between sperm and oocytes that lead to fertilization.

Alpha-lipoic acid

In a placebo-controlled, randomized, triple-blind clinical trial, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplementation was compared to placebo. After about three months of treatment, the treated group’s sperm concentration, sperm count, and total sperm motility were significantly higher.


Testicular development and normal spermatogenesis are dependent on zinc. It is involved in the production, storage, secretion, antioxidant defense, and function of a number of enzymes that are crucial to meiosis during spermatogenesis and other stages of gametogenesis. Because it influences the fluidity of lipids, it affects the stability of sperm chromatin and biological membranes as a whole. Researchers demonstrated that inadequate zinc intake may be a significant risk factor for idiopathic male infertility and low sperm quality. As a result, it is suggested that zinc levels be measured frequently during an investigation into infertility.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a part of the mitochondrial respiratory chain that controls the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This keeps the cell membrane safe from damage caused by lipid peroxidation. As a result, there is evidence that CoQ10 increases sperm motility and count in men who are unable to conceive. By increasing the total antioxidant capacity, researchers discovered that the sperm concentration, motility, and morphology parameters were correlated with the seminal CoQ10 concentration.


Researchers reported that daily selenium supplementation improved the overall quality of sperm, including motility, concentration, sperm morphology, and count. In addition, medical researchers demonstrated that a higher ejaculated volume and improved total motility of sperm were linked to a higher intake of selenium.

Vitamin E

Spermatozoa’s primary antioxidant, vitamin E shields the cell membrane from reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although supplement prescriptions containing vitamin E have little effect on improving overall sperm quality, vitamin E has positive effects on testis and sperm functions.

Additionally, exploiting the antioxidants’ roles in ROS inactivation and reducing enzymatic ROS production may be possible with the help of a combination of antioxidants.

Disclaimer: It is recommended to consult with a doctor, this is an informational article.