Selenium-vitamin E supplementation in infertile men. Effects on semen parameters and micronutrient levels and distribution

Biol Trace Elem Res. 1996 Summer;53(1-3):65-83. doi: 10.1007/BF02784546.


In order to verify the hypothesis that selenium (Se) and vitamin E (Vit E) could improve male fertility, nine oligoasthenoteratozoospermic men were supplemented for a period of 6 mo with Se and Vit E. Compared to the baseline period (presupplementation) of 4 mo, statistically significant increases were observed for Se and Vit E levels, sperm motility, percent live, and percent normal spermatozoa. These improvements are likely to be "supplementation-dependent," since all of the parameters returned to baseline values during the posttreatment period. None of the couples reported a pregnancy during the study. The HPLC analysis conducted on the serum of one of the patients showed the existence of at least six different Se-containing peaks, whose Se content was affected by supplementation. The mechanism(s) involved in these improvements of semen parameters is presently under investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / drug therapy
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Selenium / blood
  • Selenium / pharmacology*
  • Selenium / therapeutic use
  • Semen* / enzymology
  • Sperm Count / drug effects
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Vitamin E / blood
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Vitamin E
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Selenium