Glutathione to Improve Male Fertility: Increasing Motility and Morphology
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Glutathione is one of the body's most powerful antioxidants. It is stored in the liver and found in various tissues throughout the body. The testes also contain glutathione in the seminal fluid (the medium in which sperm cells are contained). Why would the body put an important antioxidant close to sperm cells?
Male gametes are incredibly vulnerable to reactive-oxygen species (ROS). The oxidative stress from ROS damages the sperm cells and is related to decreased male fertility parameters. The development of sperm cells in the testes exposes them to a very high concentration of ROS around the epididymis. And if the concentration of glutathione is lower in a male, then they lose their defence mechanism against these toxins, and are unable to prevent the damage they can cause to the sperm cells.
A trial looked at the use of glutathione provided in an injection for male patients with male-factor infertility. The use of glutathione in these patients improved the sperm motility by approximately 12% and sperm morphology by approximately 14% after just 1 month of treatment.
1. Mills, J., & Yao, D. (2016). Male infertility: lifestyle factors and holistic, complementary, and alternative therapies. Asian Journal of Andrology, 18(3), 410.