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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 426951, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/426951
Review Article

Review of Clinical Trials on Effects of Oral Antioxidants on Basic Semen and Other Parameters in Idiopathic Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia

Reproductive Unit, Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Slajmerjeva 3, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 31 January 2014; Accepted 14 March 2014; Published 31 March 2014

Academic Editor: Irma Virant-Klun

Copyright © 2014 Senka Imamovic Kumalic and Bojana Pinter. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Infertility affects 50 to 80 million people worldwide. Male factor is a cause of infertility in almost half of cases, mainly due to oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT). With common diagnostic methods no cause can be found in approximately 30% of cases of male infertility due to OAT and these are considered idiopathic. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in male infertility and are proved to be higher in infertile men; antioxidants could oppose their effect. The aim of this paper was to review the literature on clinical trials in the period from year 2000 to year 2013 studying the effects of various types of antioxidant supplements on basic and other sperm parameters and pregnancy rates in subfertile males with idiopathic OAT. The majority of studies were randomized and placebo controlled and confirmed beneficial effect of antioxidants on at least one of the semen parameters; the biggest effect was determined on sperm motility. In many of these trials combinations of more antioxidants were assessed. The optimal dosages of one or more antioxidants were not defined. We concluded that antioxidants play an important role in protecting semen from ROS and can improve basic sperm parameters in case of idiopathic OAT.