The Effect of Daily Intake of Selenium, Vitamin E and Folic Acid on Sperm Parameters in Males with Idiopathic Infertility: A Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Cardiovascular Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Embryology Department, Shiraz Fertility Center, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Male infertility may originate from a wide spectrum of conditions while in 30-40 percent of cases, no significant
reason can be identified. Thereby, it is recognized as male idiopathic infertility. This study was undertaken to investigate
the effect of daily intake of selenium, vitamin E and folic acid on sperm parameters in males with idiopathic infertility.

Materials and Methods: Seventy infertile men were selected to participate in this single-blind, randomized controlled
clinical trial using convenience sampling. They were equally divided into two groups via permuted block
randomization method. The intervention group received selenium tablet (200 μg per day, oral), vitamin E capsule
(400 IU per day, oral) and folic acid tablet (5 mg per day, oral).The placebo group received matching placebo for
three months. Semen volume, total sperm motility, sperm concentration, progressive sperm motility, normal sperm
morphology, sperm motility index (SMI) and functional sperm concentration (FSC) were assessed by sperm quality
analyzer-v (SQAV) before and after the intervention. Paired t test, and independent t test were used to compare the
results within and between the groups, respectively. The IBM SPSS V.16.005 was used for data analysis. A p <0.05
was considered statistically significant.

Results: After three months, according to within-group analysis, a significant difference was found in mean SMI
(P=0.007) and FSC (P=0.001) in the intervention group. According to between-group analysis, no significant difference
was found in mean semen volume (P=0.610), sperm concentration (P=0.126), total sperm motility (P=0.765), progressive
sperm motility (P=0.767), normal sperm morph (P=0.403), SMI (P=0.556) or FSC (P=0.706) between the groups.

Conclusion: Consumption of selenium, vitamin E and folic acid in infertile men with asthenozoospermia was not effective
(Registration number: IRCT2017012432153N1).


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