The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) dietary supplementation on semen quality, fatty acid composition, antioxidant capacity, and DNA fragmentation. In this randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, 74 subjects were recruited and randomly assigned to either the placebo group (n=32) or to the DHA group (n=42) to consume three 500-mg capsules of oil per day over 10 weeks. The placebo group received 1,500 mg/day of sunflower oil and the DHA group 1,500 mg/day of DHA-enriched oil. Seminal parameters (semen volume, sperm concentration, motility, morphology, and vitality), total antioxidant capacity, deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation, and lipid composition were evaluated prior to the treatment and after 10 weeks. Finally, 57 subjects were included in the study with 25 in the placebo group and 32 in the DHA group. No differences were found in traditional sperm parameters or lipid composition of the sperm membrane after treatment. However, an increase in DHA and Omega-3 fatty acid content in seminal plasma, an improvement in antioxidant status, and a reduction in the percentage of spermatozoa with deoxyribonucleic acid damage were observed in the DHA group after 10 weeks of treatment.
Keywords: Deoxyribonucleic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; polyunsaturated fatty acids; reactive oxygen species.