09-17-2012 18:36
Antioxidants may improve older men's sperm quality: Study

Middle-aged and older men who get enough antioxidants in their diets may have better-quality sperm than men who are lacking in the nutrients, Reuters reported in New York, Sunday.

Quoting a research report, the agency said that among men age 45 or older, those who got the most vitamins C and E, folate and zinc tended to have fewer DNA-strand breaks in their sperm.

That is a measure of the genetic quality of sperm, which is known to decline as a man ages.
The findings, reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility, do not prove that antioxidants directly improve sperm quality - or boost the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

"People who eat well are probably doing a bunch of other healthy things, too," noted senior researcher Andrew Wyrobek, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

But it was not overall nutrition that was linked to older men's sperm quality. "It was the antioxidants specifically," he said.
Antioxidants help mop up reactive oxygen species, by-products of cellular metabolism, which can cause genetic damage.

The study included 80 healthy, non-smoking men between the ages of 22 and 80. They filled out a questionnaire on diet and supplement use, and gave sperm samples.

Among men ages 45 and up, those who got the most vitamin C had 20 percent less DNA damage than those who took in less of the vitamin. Men in that high-intake group typically got about 700 milligrams of vitamin C a day; the recommended amount for men is 90 mg, but an intake as high as 2,000 mg is considered safe.

The findings were similar when the researchers looked at vitamin E, zinc and folate, though the differences in sperm DNA damage were smaller. Again, older men in the high-intake groups typically got more of each nutrient than is recommended, but were still well within the safe ranges.

The researchers found no link between antioxidant intake and sperm quality in younger men.

Wyrobek speculated that in younger men, the body may be under less "oxidative stress", or it may be more efficient at neutralizing that stress.

항산화물질, 중년남성 정자 질 개선

항산화물질이 중년 이상 남성의 정자 질을 개선하는 효과가 있다는 연구결과가 나왔다.

미국 로런스 버클리 연구소의 앤드루 와이로벡(Andrew Wyrobek) 박사는 전문지 최신호에서 45세 이상 남성이 비타민C, 비타민E, 아연, 엽산 등 항산화물질을 많이 섭취하면 정자의 질을 높일 수 있다고 밝혔다.

와이로벡 박사는 담배를 피우지 않는 22~80세의 건강한 남성 80명을 대상으로 식습관과 영양보충제 복용 여부를 조사하고 정자샘플을 채취, 분석한 결과 이 같은 사실이 확인됐다고 말했다.

45세 이상의 경우 비타민C 섭취량이 가장 많은 사람의 정자에서 DNA분절 절단 같은 DNA손상이 20% 적은 것으로 나타났다.

비타민E, 아연, 엽산 섭취량이 많은 사람도 다른 사람에 비해 정자의 질이 우수한 것으로 나타났다.

그러나 40세 이하 남성은 이러한 특정 영양소 섭취와 정자의 질 사이에 연관성이 없었다.

이는 젊은 사람은 나이를 먹은 사람에 비해 비교적 산화스트레스가 적거나 스트레스를 효과적으로 이겨내기 때문일 수 있다고 와이로벡 박사는 설명했다.

스트레스는 정자의 질을 떨어뜨릴 수 있다.

이 연구결과는 '임신과 불임(Fertility and Sterility)' 최신호에 실렸다. (뉴욕 로이터=연합뉴스)