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Theriogenology. 2004 Nov;62(8):1557-66.

Oral intake of shark liver oil modifies lipid composition and improves motility and velocity of boar sperm.

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Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Moléculaire, Faculté des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, 2 Avenue du Pr. Léon Bernard, 35043 Rennes Cedex, France.


The natural ether-lipids 1-O-alkylglycerols (alkyl-Gro) from shark liver oil improve boar sperm motility and fertility in vitro. We examined the effects of oral shark liver oil on motility and velocity parameters of sperm together with modifications of lipid composition. Eleven boars were used as control and 11 were fed with 40 g/day for 28 days and sperm was collected on Days 0, 14 and 28 in control and treated groups. After 28 days treatment, sperm motility was improved by 2.9% as well as velocity parameters (curvilinear velocity +10.75%, progressive velocity +18.8% and average path velocity +13.5%) and sperm lipid composition was modified as follows: alkyl-Gro with saturated chains were increased (C16:0 +40.1%, C18:0 +87.2%) while alkyl-Gro with unsaturated chains remained absent, as in the control group, despite the prominence of C18:1 and C16:1 in shark liver oil. The treatment also resulted in an overall increase in the proportion of n - 3 and n - 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in sperm lipids with a prominent increase of docosahexaenoic acid over time (18.9 +/- 1.34% at Day 0 to 25.7 +/- 1.11% at Day 28) and compared to control (25.7 +/- 1.11% for treated versus 16.1 +6/- 0.81 % for control at Day 28, respectively). These data demonstrate the influence of lipid intake on boar sperm composition and functions and suggest that oral intake of shark liver oil might improve reproduction.

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