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Volume 23, Issue 1 (January 2021) 23, 52–58; 10.4103/aja.aja_9_20

Serum vitamin D content is associated with semen parameters and serum testosterone levels in men

Inari M Ciccone1,2,3, Elaine MF Costa1,3,4, Juliana R Pariz1,3, Thiago A Teixeira1,2,3,5, Joel R Drevet6, Parviz Gharagozloo7, Robert J Aitken7,8, Jorge Hallak1,2,3,9

1 Androscience, Science and Innovation Center in Andrology and High-Complex Clinical and Andrology Laboratory, Sao Paulo 04534-011, Brazil
2 Division of Urology, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo 05403-000, Brazil
3 Men's Health Study Group, Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo 05508-060, Brazil
4 Division of Endocrinology, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo 05403-000, Brazil
5 School of Medicine, Urology Department, Federal University of Amapa, Macapa 68903-419, Brazil
6 Faculty of Medicine, GReD Laboratory, Université Clermont Auvergne, 49, Bd François-Mitterrand - CS 60032, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex, France
7 CellOxess LLC, Ewing, NJ 08628, USA
8 School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
9 Reproductive Toxicology Unit, Department of Pathology, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo 05403-000, Brazil

Correspondence: Dr. J Hallak (hallakj@androscience.com.br)

Date of Submission 14-May-2019 Date of Acceptance 20-Nov-2019 Date of Web Publication 28-Apr-2020


The present study aimed to evaluate the influence of serum vitamin D levels on semen quality and testosterone levels. This is a cross-sectional study conducted at Androscience, Science and Innovation Center in Andrology and High-Complex Clinical and Andrology Laboratory in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with 508 male patients, aged 18–60 years, from 2007 to 2017. Seminal parameters and serum sexual hormones were correlated with serum vitamin D concentrations in 260 men selected by strict selection criteria. Patients were divided into normozoospermic group (NZG, n = 124) and a group with seminal abnormalities (SAG, n = 136). Evaluation included complete physical examination, past medical history, habits and lifestyle factors, two complete seminal analysis with sperm functional tests, serum levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3(25(OH)VD3), total and free testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), total cholesterol, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index, and karyotype. The mean concentration of 25(OH)VD3was significantly lower in the SAG (P < 0.001) and positively correlated with all baseline seminal parameters and total testosterone levels. In addition, serum vitamin D3concentration was found to be positively correlated with sperm concentration (β= 2.103; P < 0.001), total number of spermatozoa with progressive motility (β = 2.069; P = 0.003), total number of motile spermatozoa (β = 2.571; P = 0.015), and strict morphology (β = 0.056; P = 0.006), regardless of other variables. This is the first comparative study to address the issue of serum vitamin D3content between normozoospermic patients and those with sperm abnormalities. It clearly demonstrates a direct and positive relationship between serum vitamin D level and overall semen quality, male reproductive potential, and testosterone levels.

Keywords: male infertility; semen quality; sexual hormones; sperm motility; testosterone; vitamin D deficiency

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