Background and objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effects of tomato juice consumption on seminal plasma lycopene levels and sperm parameters in infertile men.
Methods and study design: Subjects were male infertility patients with poor sperm concentration (<20×10 6/mL) and/or motility (<50%). Following a fourweek observation period, subjects were randomly assigned among three groups: a tomato juice group, an antioxidant group, and a control group. The subjects in the tomato juice group and the antioxidant group daily consumed one can of tomato juice (containing 30 mg of lycopene) or one antioxidant capsule (containing vitamin C 600 mg, vitamin E 200 mg, and glutathione 300 mg), respectively, for 12 weeks (feeding period). Seminal plasma lycopene levels and sperm parameters were measured every 6 weeks during the feeding period.
Results: Forty-four patients completed the study (control group: 12, antioxidant group: 15, tomato juice group: 17). In the tomato juice group, plasma lycopene level was significantly increased at the 12th week of the feeding period. Moreover, a decrease in seminal plasma white blood cells and an increase in sperm motility in the tomato juice group were statistically significant at the 12th and 6th weeks, respectively, compared to the control group. In the antioxidant capsule group, no significant improvement was observed in semen parameters.
Conclusions: In conclusion, regular consumption of tomato juice seems to improve sperm motility in infertile patients. This is the first report to show that commercially available food, such as tomato juice, might be beneficial for male infertility.