Male Infertility and Glutathione: Can GSH Help?

Consider These Scientific Studies, Connect the Dots

Here are some studies on male infertility and glutathione or more importantly, the increasing fertility glutathione benefit.

First, it has been well established that glutathione serves to protect and even repair DNA. The below study indicates that there is an association of poor DNA integrity when there is an associated low antioxidant level, also known as Low CG syndrome. Several studies point to the relationship of glutathione and male infertility and glutathione.

DNA integrity and semen quality in men with low seminal antioxidant levels.

The conclusion of the study: This...highlights the influence of low antioxidants on sperm genome integrity and indicates sperm DNA integrity...

Zinc, C and E

The next study looks at supplementation with Zinc, Vitamins C and E. However, it should be noted that the study mentions 'several mechanisms' that the zinc and vitamins are involved with. Those mechanisms are part of the glutathione production.

If you look at any of the countless studies on zinc, selenium, vitamin c and e and other antioxidants, there is a connection with the production of glutathione.

Male Infertility and Glutathione

Indications of the mechanisms involved in improved sperm parameters by zinc therapy.

The study found: Zinc therapy alone, in combination with vitamin E or with vitamin E + C were associated with comparably improved sperm parameters with less oxidative stress, sperm apoptosis and sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI).

On the whole, there was no difference in the outcome measures between zinc only and zinc with vitamin E and combination of vitamins E + C.

Conclusion: Zinc therapy reduces asthenozoospermia through several mechanisms such as prevention of oxidative stress, apoptosis and sperm DNA fragmentation. (c) 2008

Definition of asthenozoospermia: also known as asthenospermia: reduced sperm motility. Since it involves the decrease in sperm quality, and is considered one of the major causes of infertility or reduced fertility in men.

Reactive Oxygen Species

From a slightly different view point, consider what the reactive oxygen species (ROS) do to the DNA of human sperm. Remember, glutathione is the anti-ROS. Glutathione protects each of our cells from oxidants.

The conclusion pointed to a solution. The bodies master antioxidant is glutathione. Boosting your intercellular glutathione has been shown to offer numerous benefits to multiple systems of the body.

Reactive oxygen species: potential cause for DNA fragmentation in human spermatozoa.

The study concluded: ROS can cause an increase in DNA fragmentation and pretreatment with antioxidants can reduce DNA damage.

Increasing Fertility Glutathione

Then this study which points out that glutathione protects sperm from external stresses.

The study looked at the glutathione effect. One interesting finding was that increased glutathione does not improve fertilization. A lack of glutathione resulted in increased miscarriage.

Glutathione Depletion and Miscarriage

The mammalian epididymis (the tightly coiled tube that connects the different ducts from the rear of each testicle to the ductus deferens) is an environment where sperm mature before they take their final swim. This is a place to protect them from stressors. There are a number of antioxidants on hand to do this job. Included is the non-conventional glutathione peroxidase 5 (GPX5), which protect them from oxidative stress.

The study explored the role of GPX5 in the epididymis, we generated mice that lack epididymal expression of the enzyme.

There were no apparent differences in the fertilization rate of sexually mature Gpx5-/- male mice compared with WT male mice. However, a higher incidence of miscarriages and developmental defects were observed when WT female mice were mated with Gpx5-deficient males over 1 year old compared with WT males of the same age.

Flow cytometric analysis of spermatozoa recovered from Gpx5-null and WT male mice revealed that sperm DNA compaction was substantially lower in the cauda epididymides of Gpx5-null animals and that they suffered from DNA oxidative attacks. Real-time ... analysis of enzymatic scavengers ... in the mouse epididymis indicated that the cauda epididymidis epithelium of Gpx5-null male mice mounted an antioxidant response to cope with an excess of ROS.

The Conclusion: These observations suggest that GPX5 is a potent antioxidant scavenger in the luminal compartment of the mouse cauda epididymidis that protects spermatozoa from oxidative injuries that could compromise their integrity and, consequently, embryo viability.

The Male Infertility and Glutathione Conclusion

Although these studies do not provide definitive proof, if you connect the dots, you will no doubt see a connection. Boosting your intercellular glutathione can only help your overall health. It may even help your reproductive health as well.

Note: At this writing we have not found any information that shows that N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is safe for pediatric patients or for pregnant women. Only use products with NAC under the supervision of your doctor. We would add, get a second opinion from your pharmacist since they often know the drugs better than the doctor does.

The safest way to boost your glutathione is through the GSH Boosting Diet.

More will be posted in the future on male infertility and glutathione. If male infertility and glutathione is of interest and you want more information, please let us know. We respond to the sections that get the most requests.

Go to Sex and Glutathione This is where this thread of information was conceived.

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