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J Androl. 1996 Sep-Oct;17(5):530-7.

Lipid peroxidation and human sperm motility: protective role of vitamin E.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Abha Branch, Saudi Arabia.


Asthenospermia is the main factor of male infertility among patients consulting the Asir Infertility Center in Abha, Saudi Arabia. Lipid peroxidation occurring in both the seminal plasma and spermatozoa was estimated by malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration. Spermatozoal MDA concentration was higher in men with decreased sperm motility. The MDA concentration in the seminal plasma exhibited no relationship with sperm concentration, sperm motility, the number of immotile spermatozoa, or even the absence of spermatozoa. The MDA concentration in sperm pellet suspensions of asthenospermic and oligoasthenospermic patients was almost twice that of the normospermic males. The MDA concentration in the sperm pellet suspension from normospermic or oligospermic patients was about 10% that in the seminal plasma. However, the MDA concentration in the sperm pellet suspension of asthenospermic or oligoasthenospermic patients was about 15% that in the seminal plasma. Treatment of asthenospermic patients with oral Vitamin E significantly decreased the MDA concentration in spermatozoa and improved sperm motility. Eleven out of the 52 treated patients (21%) impregnated their spouses; nine of the spouses successfully ended with normal term deliveries, whereas the other two aborted in the first trimester. No pregnancies were reported in the spouses of the placebo-treated patients.

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