Theophylline and Zinc Sulfate Co-administration improves the Sperm Parameters in Asthenoteratozoospermic Patients: A Double-blind, Randomized Clinical Trial Study
Research question: Theophylline can improve sperm quality in patients but also causes sperm DNA fragmentation. The question is “does co-administration of zinc sulfate and theophylline reduce DNA fragmentation in asthenoteratozoospermia men?” Design: One hundred and twenty asthenoteratozoospermic patients were divided into Placebo, theophylline, zinc sulfate and theophylline+ zinc sulfate groups. At the beginning of the trial and three months after oral treatment, sperm parameters, viability and DNA fragmentation, oxidative stress and seminal plasma levels of inflammatory and pro-inflammatory markers and theophylline and zinc levels in the blood and seminal plasma were analyzed using the relative techniques and kits. Also, the conception rates following the trial were reported at the end of study. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA, Tukey’s test and paired t-test and the means were considered significantly different at P<0.05. Results: Sperm parameters, oxidative stress, levels of inflammatory and pro-inflammatory markers ameliorated significantly in three groups compared to the placebo while these changes were more significant in the theophylline+ zinc sulfate group. Sperm DNA fragmentation occurred at a significantly lower rate in the zinc sulfate and theophylline+ zinc sulfate groups compared to the Theophylline group. The theophylline and zinc levels in the blood and seminal plasma increased in the theophylline and zinc sulfate groups, respectively. The overall conception rate was 38.3% in this study. Conclusions: Co-administration of theophylline and zinc sulfate, not only improves sperm parameters and reduces oxidative stress and inflammation but also protects the sperm DNA from fragmentation caused by theophylline. Therefore, this combination is recommended in infertile men with asthenoteratozoospermia.