Building stronger, better sperm


Build a stronger bridge, a studier building, a better mouse trap and the results are positive. Apparently it’s the same for sperm.

New research indicates that a certain omega-3 fatty acid is necessary to construct the arch that turns a round, immature sperm cell into a pointy-headed super swimmer with an extra long tail. Build a better sperm.

“Normal sperm cells contain an arc-like structure called the acrosome that is critical in fertilization because it houses, organizes, ad concentrates a variety of enzymes that sperm use to penetrate an egg,” explained Manabu Nakamura, a U of I associate professor of biochemical and molecular nutrition.,

The study demonstrated that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential in fusing the building blocks of acrosome together. “Without DHA, this vital structure doesn’t form and sperm cells don’t work,” according to Timothy Abbott, a doctoral student and co-author of the study.

Foods containing DHA include marine fish, like salmon or tuna. DHA can also be acquired through supplementation.

The researchers started by looking at mice who lacked DHA. “We looked at sperm count, shape, and motility, and tested the breeding success rate. The male mice that lacked DHA were basically infertile,” Nakamura said. When DHA was re-introduced into the diet, fertility was restored. “It was striking. When we fed the ice DHA, all these abnormalities were prevented,” he concluded.

“It’s logical to hypothesize that DHA is involved in vesicle fusion elsewhere in the body, and because the brain contains so much of it, we wonder if deficiencies could play a role, for example, in the development of dementia. Any communication between neurons in the brain involved vesicle fusion.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday, U of I


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