The effects of dietary restriction and administration of β-glucan from Euglena gracilis on the sperm characteristics and reproductive organs of rats

Andrologia. 2018 Nov;50(9):e13088. doi: 10.1111/and.13088. Epub 2018 Jul 10.


The aim of this study was to demonstrate the possible individual and/or synergistic effects of β-glucan and dietary restrictions on the reproductive parameters of rats. For this purpose, forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four equal groups (n = 10 per group). The first group was the control, the second group was kept under dietary restriction (DR), the third group was kept under a dietary restriction and given β-glucan (DR + βG) and the fourth group was supplemented only with β-glucan (βG; 20 mg/kg) intragastrically for 14 days. Motility, vitality and morphology of spermatozoa, reproductive organ weights (testis, vesicula seminalis and epididymis) and seminiferous tubule diameters were evaluated in experimental rats. β-glucan had excellent effects on motility, live spermatozoa rate and the acrosome integrity when compared to the control group (p < 0.05). We also observed that β-glucan administration to rats having dietary restriction could improve sperm motility and acrosome integrity (p < 0.05). While the β-glucan improved seminiferous tubule diameter (p < 0.05), weights of the reproductive organs did not change positively as a result. This study demonstrated that β-glucan treatment significantly improved some spermatological characteristics in rats. Therefore, treatment with β-glucan could be used for its positive effects on motility, spermatozoa vitality rate and acrosome integrity for infertile men.

Keywords: dietary restriction; rat; spermatozoa; testis; β-glucan.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Euglena gracilis
  • Genitalia, Male / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • beta-Glucans / pharmacology*


  • beta-Glucans