Effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on the sperm quality of smokers

Fertil Steril. 1992 Nov;58(5):1034-9.


Objective: To determine the effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on the sperm quality of heavy smokers.

Design: Microscopic examination of semen for 1 month during supplementation with placebo or ascorbic acid at dose levels of 200 or 1,000 mg/d.

Setting: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Texas Medical Branch.

Participants: Seventy-five men (20 to 35 years old) randomly divided into one of three supplementation groups: placebo, 200 mg and 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid.

Main outcome: Improvement in sperm quality as compared with presupplementation levels and between the three treatment groups.

Results: The placebo group showed no improvement in sperm quality. The groups receiving ascorbic acid showed improvement in sperm quality with most improvement in the 1,000-mg group. Pearson's correlation showed statistically significant relationships between the weekly group means of serum and seminal plasma ascorbic acid levels and sperm qualities.

Conclusions: Ascorbic acid supplementation of heavy smokers in excess of 200 mg/d results in improved sperm quality.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Aggregation
  • Cell Survival
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Semen / metabolism
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*


  • Ascorbic Acid