Wirleitner B1Vanderzwalmen PStecher ASpitzer DSchuff MSchwerda DBach MSchechinger BHerbert Zech N

International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research (2012), 82, pp. 391-398



This study aimed to investigate the influence of an oral antioxidative supplementation on sperm quality of in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients, as analyzed by sperm motility according to the WHO criteria and motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME).


Semen samples were collected from 147 patients before undergoing an IVF/intracytoplasmic morphologically-selected sperm injection (IMSI) cycle and 2 – 12 months after an antioxidative supplementation. Semen analysis was evaluated according to WHO and MSOME criteria. Spermatozoa were grouped according to the size of nuclear vacuoles within the sperm’s heads. Patients were divided into oligoasthenoteratozoospermic (OAT) and non-OAT men. Between first and second semen analysis, patients were supplemented orally with an antioxidative preparation.


After the antioxidative therapy we observed a significant reduction in the percentage of immotile sperm cells in the patients. Additionally, the percentage of class I spermatozoa according to MSOME criteria was significantly higher after antioxidative supplementation. In OAT patients the percentage of class I sperm was found to be increased, although not significantly. However, we observed a drastic improvement in sperm motility as well as in total sperm count in this group.


The results demonstrated a considerable improvement in semen quality, notably in OAT patients. Considering the putative relationship between semen quality on the one hand and reactive oxygen species on the other, the observed changes in the sperm parameters indicate that a decline in semen quality, and even subtle morphological changes, might be associated with oxidative stress. Our findings suggest that an antioxidative and micronutrient supplementation has a remarkable benefit for IVF patients having restricted sperm parameters, in particular.