A red palm oil diet can reduce the effects of oxidative stress on rat spermatozoa
Male Wistar rats (n=54) received daily supplementation of red palm oil (RPO: 0, 2, 4ml). Subgroups were subsequently injected with saline, cumene hydroperoxide (cHP, 10μm) or t-butyl hydroperoxide (tbHP, 20μm) over a 60-day period after which animals were sacrificed. Epididymal sperm motility, concentration, reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation and enzymes were measured. Sperm concentration, motility, superoxide dismutase (SOD) concentration, glutathione (GSH) and catalase (CAT) activities were significantly lower, while dichlorofluorescein (DCF) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were higher in sperm of hydroperoxide-treated animals compared to controls (P<0.05). DCF and MDA levels were significantly lower, while SOD, CAT and GSH were significantly higher in the sperm of rats supplemented with RPO in combination with hydroperoxide treatment when compared to those receiving hydroperoxide and no RPO supplementation (P<0.05). Moreover, the DCF, SOD, CAT and GSH levels in the RPO hydroperoxide groups did not differ from control values (P>0.05). RPO supplementation can successfully attenuate the oxidative stress-induced sperm damage due to organic hydroperoxide exposure. We therefore propose that a daily intake of RPO supplement to the diet might be helpful in protecting males against the adverse effects of high ROS in sperm function and help preserve fertility. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.