The effect of antioxidant treatment on human spermatozoa and fertilization rate in an in vitro fertilization program

E. Geva, B. Bartoov, N. Zabludovsky, J. B. Lessing, L. Lerner-Geva, A. Amit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To study the possible influence of antioxidant treatment on human spermatozoa and the fertilization rate in an IVF program. Design: Prospective study. Setting: In Vitro Fertilization Unit, Serlin Maternity Hospital, and the Laboratory of Male Fertility, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat- Gan, Israel. Patients: Fifteen fertile normospermic male volunteers who had had low fertilization rates in their previous IVF cycles. Interventions: Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) 200 mg daily by mouth for 3 months. Main Outcome Measures: Lipid peroxidation potential (amount of malondialdehyde [MDA]), quantitative ultramorphologic analysis of spermatozoa, and fertilization rate per cycle. Results: The high MDA levels significantly decreased from 12.6 ± 9.4 nmol/108 spermatozoa to normal levels of 7.8 ± 4.2 nmol/108 spermatozoa after 1 month of treatment. The fertilization rate per cycle increased significantly from 19.3 ± 23.3 to 29.1 ± 22.2 after 1 month of treatment. No additional effects on MDA levels and fertilization rate were observed after completion of treatment. With regard to the quantitative ultramorphologic analysis, none of the sperm cell subcellular organelles were affected significantly by vitamin E treatment. Conclusion: Vitamin E may improve the fertilization rate of fertile normospermic males with low fertilization rates after 1 month of treatment, possibly by reducing the lipid peroxidation potential, and with no change of the quantitative ultramorphologic analysis of subcellular organelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-434
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Lipid peroxidation
  • fertilization
  • human spermatozoa
  • infertility
  • vitamin E


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