“Striking” link between omega-3 fatty acid and male fertility

The dramatic effect that a little-known omega-3 fatty acid has on sperm may have important implications for treating male infertility, say University of Illinois (UI) scientists.

“In our experiment, we used ‘knockout’ mice that lacked the gene responsible for an enzyme important in making docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]. In the absence of DHA, male mice are basically infertile, producing few if any misshaped sperm that can’t get where they need to go,” explained UI’s Manabu Nakamura.

Nakamura, reporting his findings in the Journal of Lipid Research, said that the DHA-deficient knockout mice had extremely low sperm counts and the sperm were round instead of elongated. However, when DHA was introduced into the diet, fertility was completely restored. “It was very striking. When we fed the mice DHA, all these abnormalities were prevented,” he said.

Previous studies have suggested that male fertility patients with low sperm counts and less motile sperm tend to have low levels of this fatty acid, but this is the first time that the importance of DHA to male fertility has been shown directly.

The DHA study is part of the Nakamura team’s efforts to understand the function of the omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. As part of that work, they have developed a mouse model to help them understand a particular fat’s physiological role. “Knocking out the gene for the delta-6-desaturase enzyme has led to some surprising discoveries, including this one about the importance of DHA in sperm formation and mobility,” Nakamura said.

Nakamura’s team plan to continue focusing on this omega-3’s effects on fertility, as there are still things they don’t understand. “We get hints from looking at sperm in the DHA-deficient animals about what type of pathology we may be looking at and why these polyunsaturated fatty acids are important. But we’re still at the starting point in understanding the mechanisms that are involved, and we need to do more research at the cellular level,” he concluded.

Related:
Drink-Up For Superior Sperm
Daily sex boosts male fertility
Obesity Linked To Abnormal Sperm
St Valentine’s Day Sperm Massacre
Male chromosome facing extinction

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

, ,

Comments are closed.

Mojo SPERM WHALE plastic animal sea toy figure model figurine fish bath marine picture

Mojo SPERM WHALE plastic animal sea toy figure model figurine fish bath marine

$21.49



I Am With Sperm Donor Pinback Vintage Button PUNK Rare Collectable Political Fem picture

I Am With Sperm Donor Pinback Vintage Button PUNK Rare Collectable Political Fem

$39.58



Vintage The Happy Sperm Novelty Candle Gag Unused In Box Operators Manual 1985 picture

Vintage The Happy Sperm Novelty Candle Gag Unused In Box Operators Manual 1985

$29.99



1992 Endangered Species Sperm Whale Lidded Small Stein Avon  Made in Brazil picture

1992 Endangered Species Sperm Whale Lidded Small Stein Avon Made in Brazil

$9.95



Vintage John Perry-White Sperm Whale on Drift Wood picture

Vintage John Perry-White Sperm Whale on Drift Wood

$25.99



Late 19th Century Antique McKesson Pure Sperm Oil For Technical Use-Glass w/Cork picture

Late 19th Century Antique McKesson Pure Sperm Oil For Technical Use-Glass w/Cork

$300.00



Sperm Whaling

Sperm Whaling "There Capture" Whale New Bedford Mass. Divided Back Postcard 10A

$8.67



Vintage Sperm Whale solid cast metal paperweight ~ Nautical decor picture

Vintage Sperm Whale solid cast metal paperweight ~ Nautical decor

$19.95



Maigon Daga Art Pottery Sperm Whale Vintage Signed Statue Excellent Condition picture

Maigon Daga Art Pottery Sperm Whale Vintage Signed Statue Excellent Condition

$250.00



2 Small Cast Metal Sperm Whale Paperweights / Nautical Beach Home Desk Decor picture

2 Small Cast Metal Sperm Whale Paperweights / Nautical Beach Home Desk Decor

$14.40



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes