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Volume 10, Issue 2 (March 2008) 10, 201–206; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2008.00356.x

Sperm quality improvement after natural anti-oxidant treatment of asthenoteratospermic men with leukocytospermia

Paola Piomboni, Laura Gambera, Francesca Serafini, Giovanna Campanella, Giuseppe Morgante and Vincenzo De Leo

1.Department of Surgery, Biology Section, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy
2.Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Couple Sterility, Siena Hospital, Siena 53100, Italy
3.Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, Gynecology and Obstetrics Section, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy

Correspondence: Prof. Paola Piomboni, Department of Surgery, Biology Section, Policlinico Le Scotte, Viale Bracci, Siena 53100, Italy. Fax: +39-0577-586632. E-mail: piomboni@unisi.it

Received 27 July 2007; Accepted 17 September 2007.


Aim: To study the immune-modulating and anti-oxidant effects of beta-glucan, papaya, lactoferrin, and vitamins C and E on sperm characteristics of patients with asthenoteratozoospermia associated with leucocytosis.

Methods: Fifty-one patients referred to our Sterility Center for semen analysis were selected. Sperm parameters were assessed before and after patient's treatment with beta-glucan, lactoferrin, papaya, and vitamins C and E. DNA damage was assessed by the acridine orange test and sperm structural characteristics were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy.

Results: After 90 days of treatment, an increase in the percentage of morphologically normal sperm (17.0 ± 5.2 vs. 29.8 ± 6.5) and total progressive motility (19.0 ± 7.8 vs. 34.8 ± 6.8) were detected. Structural sperm characteristics as well as chromatin integrity were also improved after treatment. In terms of leukocyte concentration in seminal fluid, a significant reduction was recorded (2.2 ± 0.9 vs. 0.9 ± 0.2).

Conclusion: The treatment of an inflammatory process by the synergic action of immune modulators and anti-oxidants could protect sperm during maturation and migration, leading to improved sperm function.

Keywords: asthenoteratozoospermia, leukocytospermia, anti-oxidant, beta-glucan, papaya, lactoferrin, vitamin C, vitamin E, chromatin integrity, transmission electron microscopy

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