Smoking 'can have a negative impact on sperm quality'

29 June 2016

A new study has offered evidence that smoking can damage the viability of men's sperm, potentially making it more difficult to conceive.

The research from Sao Paulo Federal University has looked at data from 20 non-smoking men and 20 men who smoked, finding that the sperm of men who smoked had a greater degree of DNA damage.

A total of 422 proteins in the sperm were also assessed, revealing that one protein was absent in smokers compared to non-smokers, while 27 proteins were underrepresented and six were overrepresented.

The fact that sperm DNA fragmentation was increased in smokers was notable, as other studies suggest this promutagenic effect may lead to health problems in the offspring.

Dr Ricardo Pimenta Bertolla, senior author of the study, said: "Our results point in the direction of important semen alterations: semen of smokers presents an inflammatory nature, associated with decreased capacity of sperm to achieve fertilization and generate a healthy pregnancy."

This adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that smoking can have a negative impact on male fertility.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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