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Scientists review the effects of DHA and EPA treatments on male infertility


Researchers in Iran and Australia evaluated the effect of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) supplementation on sperm parameters in infertile men. They reported their findings in an article published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.

  • The researchers searched in PubMed, Google Scholar and Scopus for relevant literature published between January 1, 1990 and December 20, 2017.
  • They conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials involving infertile men who were treated with DHA or EPA alone or in combination with other micronutrients.
  • The sperm parameters considered in the study included total sperm concentration, sperm motility, sperm DHA and seminal plasma DHA concentration.
  • The researchers found three studies that met the inclusion criteria: A total of 147 patients comprised the intervention group, while 143 patients comrpised the control group.
  • Data analysis showed that omega-3 supplementation significantly increased sperm motility and seminal DHA concentrations in infertile men.
  • Compared with the controls, both DHA and EPA did not affect sperm concentration.
  • The researchers said that the observed heterogeneity may be due to differences in administration period and omega-3 dosages between the three studies.
  • Funnel plot showed no evidence of publication bias.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that DHA and EPA supplementation benefits infertile men by increasing sperm motility and DHA concentration in seminal plasma.

Journal Reference:

Hosseini B, Nourmohamadi M, Hajipour S, Taghizadeh M, Asemi Z, Keshavarz SA, Jafarnejad S. THE EFFECT OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS, EPA, AND/OR DHA ON MALE INFERTILITY: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS. Journal of Dietary Supplements. 16 February 2018;16(2):245–256. DOI: 10.1080/19390211.2018.1431753

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