Background: Although the effectiveness of ginger as an antioxidant agent has been exploited, little human research has been conducted on its activity on male reproductive functions.
Objective: This study was designed to investigate the effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in infertile men.
Materials and methods: This randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a 1:1 allocation was performed on 100 infertility treatment candidates who were admitted to Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, Tehran, Iran. Patients were randomly assigned to receive one of two treatments: ginger and placebo. Patients were given a 3-month oral treatment (members received capsules containing 250 mg of ginger powder twice a day in ginger and a placebo in other group). Before and after treatment, standardized semen samples were obtained to determine sperm concentration, motility, and SDF according to World Health Organization.
Results: There was no significant difference between two groups regarding SDF at baseline (53.48. 95%CI: 37.95-69.02) in cases and (56.75, 95%CI: 40.01-73.5) in controls. The average positive percentage of SDF in patients receiving ginger (17.77, 95%CI: 6.16-29.39) was lower compared with placebo (40.54, 95%CI: 23.94-57.13) after three month of treatment (p=0.02). In multivariate analysis, SDF was significantly lower in patients receiving ginger compared with placebo (mean difference: 3.21, 95%CI: 0.78-5.63, p=0.009). There were no significant differences between two groups regarding to semen parameters.
Conclusion: The present study has demonstrated that ginger in a controlled study of efficacy was effective in decreasing SDF in infertile men.
Keywords: DNA fragmentation; Ginger; Infertility; Male; Semen analysis.