Effects of branched-chain amino acid supplementation and/or aerobic exercise on mouse sperm quality and testosterone production

Andrologia. 2019 Mar;51(2):e13183. doi: 10.1111/and.13183. Epub 2018 Nov 8.


Individuals who regularly exercise utilise dietary supplements to enhance their exercise routine and to increase lean mass. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a popular supplement and have been shown to produce a number of beneficial effects in rodent and human models. Therefore, in the present study, the effect of exercise and/or BCAA on sperm parameters and testes tissue was assessed. C57BL6 male mice were divided to six groups; Control, Exercise (Exc), BCAA (consumes 20 mg BCAAs), BCAA+ (consumes 60 mg BCAAs), BCAA/Exc (consumes 20 mg BCAAs during aerobic training) and BCAA+/Exc (consumes 60 mg BCAAs during aerobic training). After 8 weeks of exercise and oral treatment with BCAA; testes and epididymides were dissected, and sperm function and plasma testosterone were assessed. Exercise significantly improved sperm motility and plasma testosterone in Exercise groups with or without BCAA. Percentage of sperm lipid peroxidation was significantly decreased in Exercise group, while intensity of lipid peroxidation at the same group has significantly increased. Epithelium diameters, meiotic index and Johnson' grade did not show any changes between groups. Unlike intensive exercise, endurance exercise along with modest supplementation of BCAAs, but not an overdose, may have some synergic effect on sperm function and testosterone production.

Keywords: BCAA; dietary supplement; lipid peroxidation; physical endurance; semen quality.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
  • Testosterone