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Background: The role of ascorbic acid as an antioxidant nutrient in the maturation of sperm cells has received
considerable attention. A previous study from our laboratory showed reduced seminal and plasma ascorbic acid in
Method: Fifteen subfertile male patients mean age 36.4±0.9 years with sperm counts of 31.4±7, 08 x106 /cm3 were given
200mg/day dose of ascorbic acid as supplement for four weeks and ten highly fertile male mean age 35.6±1.7 years with
sperm count of 50.9±10.3 x106/cm3 volunteers were selected as controls. The biochemical parameters and anthropometric
measurements were determined using standard methods.
Result: Significant decreases were obtained in baseline sperm cell count (p<0.01), percentage (%) motility and %vitality
(p<0.01), and the % of morphologically normal sperm cells (p<0.01) in the subfertile compared with the controls. The
baseline plasma and seminal ascorbic acid concentrations were significantly reduced (p<0.001). The post-supplementation
sperm cell count (p<0.001), % motility and %vitality (p<0.01) were significantly increased compared with the baseline
Conclusion: The enhanced reversal of poor semen quality and semen ascorbic acid status with dietary supplementation of
vitamin C in subfertile is a pointer to its positive role in the maintenance of sperm cell integrity. Further work is therefore
required to elucidate our findings.