The Effect of Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants on Men Fertility


avatar Abolfazl Akbari 1 , avatar gholamali jelodar 1 , *

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

how to cite: Akbari A, jelodar G. The Effect of Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants on Men Fertility. Zahedan J Res Med Sci. 2013;15(7):e92918.


Background: Various factors affects men fertility and oxidative stress as an important factor which affects fertility has recently got great concern. Oxidative stress refers to conditions of imbalance between productions of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defense mechanism. Reactive species of oxygen, free radicals and peroxide are produced in the cell when metabolism of oxygen is incomplete in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Materials and Methods: In this review we will consider effect of oxidative stress on male fertility and the principal antioxidant defences. Results: Factors such as hypoxia, cytokines, growth factors, chemotherapy, radio frequency waves and UV radiation can increase ROS production. Oxidative stress as one of the strongest physiological factors can lead to damage of sperm and reduction of seminal plasma quality and thereby cause infertility in men. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic defences inhibit oxidant attack. The enzymatic defense include: superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, and catalase. The non-enzymatic defences include ascorbate (vitamin C) and a-tocopherol (vitamin E), beta carotene, and albumin, which neutralize free radicals. Conclusion: Oxidative stress affects male fertility through induction of lipid peroxidation, inactivation of proteins, impair of sperm motility and DNA damage.


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© 2013, Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.