Vitamin D increases speed of sperm cells

May 25, 2011

Vitamin D is important for optimal reproductive function in both animals and humans. It has long been known that serum vitamin D level is important for reproductive function in various animals, but now researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen University Hospital have shown that this relationship can also be demonstrated in humans.

A new study conducted in 300 normal men showed a positive correlation between the percentage of motile sperm and D levels. The study was recently published in the scientific journal , and showed additionally that stimulation of human spermatooza in the laboratory with activated vitamin D can increase their forward movement.

"Our study is not sufficient and should not be used to change existing treatment practices. However, it uncovers some of the functions of vitamin D and generates new hypotheses. This is an intriguing finding, because it suggests that vitamin D has an effect on sperm movement and function," explains Martin Blomberg Jensen from Copenhagen University Hospital.

"However, this finding is not sufficient in determining whether vitamin D supplements may improve quality in normal or infertile males. This study is one in a line of studies indicating that vitamin D is necessary for male reproduction," says Martin Blomberg Jensen.

Today, there is no known medical treatment proved to improve semen quality in well-designed randomised trials, although several papers have shown numerous positive associations between various drugs such as antioxidants, , various vitamins etc. and semen quality.

"Low semen quality may have numerous causes, but it often has a fetal origin similar to some male genital malformations and . However, this study indicates that factors in adult life may also play a role for semen quality," says Professor Anders Juul from the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen University Hospital's Department of Growth and Reproduction.

"It is important to find all factors of importance, because semen qaulity in Danish men is at a low level and contributing to a very high incidence of fertility problems among Danish couples," says Anders Juul.

The authors conclude that there is a need to intensify reproductive research to identify relevant factors and conduct placebo-controlled trials to clarify whether vitamin D supplements are beneficial for infertile men.

More information: The study was published in the June issue of Oxford Journal of Human Reproduction.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

High-fat diet in pregnancy can cause mental health problems in offspring

July 21, 2017
A high-fat diet not only creates health problems for expectant mothers, but new research in an animal model suggests it alters the development of the brain and endocrine system of their offspring and has a long-term impact ...

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.