Propolis Supplementation Effects on Semen Parameters, Oxidative Stress, Inflammatory Biomarkers and Reproductive Hormones in Infertile Men with Asthenozoospermia; A Randomized Clinical Trial

  • Fereshteh Gholaminejad
  • Maryam Javadi
  • Ali Akbar Karami
  • Fatemeh Alizadeh
  • Maria kavianpour
  • Hossein Khadem Haghighian
Keywords: Asthenozoospermia Oxidative stress Propolis Spermatogram


Background and Aims: Decreased sperm motility and increased level
of oxidative stress are major causes of male infertility. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of propolis supplementation on spermatogram and reproductive hormones in asthenozoospermic men.

Materials and Methods: In this randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial, 60 asthenozoospermic men attending an infertility clinic in Velayat Hospital in Qazvin, Iran, were randomly assigned to one of intervention and placebo groups (n=30 for each group). For 10 weeks each participant in the intervention group took 1500 mg of propolis daily, while in the placebo group they received daily placebo. Sperm parameters, total antioxidant capacity, concentrations of malondialdehyde of plasma, inflammatory markers and reproductive hormones were measured at the baseline and at the end of the interventions.

Results: Out of 60 who participated in this study, 29 men in the intervention group and 28 men in the placebo group completed the study. After the intervention, concentration and percentage of motile sperms as well as total antioxidant capacity of plasma significantly increased while the concentration of plasma malondialdehyde and inflammatory markers significantly decreased in the intervention group compared to the placebo group (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Propolis supplementation led to increase in the concentration and motility of asthenozoospermic sperms and reduction of oxidative stress and inflammatory markers. Since increase in reactive oxygen species has been observed in abnormal sperms, oral intake of propolis may be one of the ways to deal with oxidative damage in spermatozoa of infertile men.