Dietary Vitamin E Is More Effective than Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acid for Improving The Kinematic Characteristics of Rat Sperm

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Animal Science, Saveh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Saveh, Iran

2 Department of Embryology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

3 Animal Core Facility, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

4 4Department of Andrology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Ira


Although key roles for dietary vitamin E (VITE) and fatty acid (FA) in fertility have been confirmed, limited data are available on the effects of VITE alone, or a constant level of VITE supplemented by dietary omega-6 and omega-3 FAs in combination on male reproduction. Consequently in this paper, the effects of VITE, sunflower oil, fish oil and their combination on rat sperm were investigated.
Materials and Methods
We divided 50 mature male Wistar rats into 5 groups (n=10) in a experimental completely randomized design for eight weeks: i. Control (CTR): standard diet; ii. Vitamin E diet (VITE): 2 times greater than recommendations; iii. Sunflower oil group (n-6) [gavaged with 0.5 ml/day/rat sunflower oil+VITE diet]; iv. Fish oil group (n-3): [gavaged with 0.5 ml/day/rat fish oil+VITE diet] and v. n-3+n-6 group [gavaged with 0.3 ml fish oil/day/rat+0.2 ml sunflower oil/day/rat+VITE diet]. The sperm parameters were measured by computer assisted semen analyzer (CASA). All data were analyzed with SPSS software.
Feed intake decreased in groups which were administered sunflower oil compared with the other groups (P < 0.05). The groups which received only VITE or fish oil+VITE had a significantly higher concentration of sperm compared with the n-6+n-3 and CTR group (P < 0.05). VITE and n-3 showed significant improved progressive motility compared to the CTR group, whereas the n-6 and n-6+n-3 groups were in the middle (P < 0.05). The highest sperm kinematic parameters were observed in the VITE only group. There was no strong correlation between sperm parameters and blood lipid profiles.
Dietary VITE and fish oil+VITE can improve sperm quality. Our findings can be a focus for improvements in sperm quantity and motility in fertile animals using only dietary VITE.