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Keywords:

  • Antioxidants;
  • DNA damage;
  • human spermatozoa;
  • infertility;
  • l–carnitine

Summary

The primary aim of this study was to determine the effect of oral antioxidant treatment (1500 mg of l-Carnitine; 60 mg of vitamin C; 20 mg of coenzyme Q10; 10 mg of vitamin E; 10 mg of zinc; 200 μg of vitamin B9; 50 μg of selenium; 1 μg of vitamin B12) during a time period of 3 months upon the dynamics of sperm DNA fragmentation following varying periods of sperm storage (0 h, 2 h, 6 h, 8 h and 24 h) at 37 °C in a cohort of 20 infertile patients diagnosed with asthenoteratozoospermia. A secondary objective was to use the sperm chromatin dispersion test (SCD) to study antioxidant effects upon a specific subpopulation of highly DNA degraded sperm (DDS). Semen parameters and pregnancy rate (PR) were also determined. Results showed a significant improvement of DNA integrity at all incubation points (< 0.01). The proportion of DDS was also significantly reduced (< 0.05). Semen analysis data showed a significant increase in concentration, motility, vitality and morphology parameters. Our results suggest that antioxidant treatment improves sperm quality not only in terms of key seminal parameters and basal DNA damage, but also helps to maintain DNA integrity. Prior administration of antioxidants could therefore promote better outcomes following assisted reproductive techniques.