Antioxidative activity and protective effect of probiotics against high-fat diet-induced sperm damage in rats

Animal. 2013 Feb;7(2):287-92. doi: 10.1017/S1751731112001528. Epub 2012 Jul 24.


In this study, antioxidant capability and protective effect of probiotics on reproductive damage induced by diet oxidative stress were investigated. Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups with 10 rats in each group. The control group consumed a normal standard diet (5% fat, w/w). The other two treatment groups were fed with a high-fat diet (20% fat, w/w), and a high-fat diet supplemented with 2% probiotics (w/w), respectively. At the end of the experimental period, that is, after 6 weeks, rats were killed. Activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), contents of nitric oxide (NO) free radical and malondialdehyde (MDA) in serum and sperm suspension were examined. Sperm parameters including sperm concentration, viability, motility and DNA integrity were analyzed. The results showed that high-fat diet could induce oxidative stress, shown as significant increases in lipid peroxidation, NO free radical, significant decrease in activities of SOD, GSH-Px, significant reduction in sperm concentration, viability and motility, and damage in sperm DNA (P < 0.05), compared with the control group. These alterations were significantly reversed in the probiotics-supplemented group and had no significant difference in antioxidant capability, lipid peroxidation and sperm parameters compared with the control group. The percentage of sperm with DNA damage was significantly lower than the high-fat diet group and still higher than the control group, which means that probiotics could attenuate sperm damage to some extent. The present results indicated that dietary probiotics had antioxidant activity and the protective effect against sperm damage induced by high-fat diet to some extent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Comet Assay / veterinary
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / analysis
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / analysis
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Nitric Oxide / blood
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Rats / growth & development
  • Rats / physiology*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproduction*
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / analysis
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase