An overview on role of some trace elements in human reproductive health, sperm function and fertilization process.Rev Environ Health 2019RE
Human semen contains several trace elements such as calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se) which are necessary for reproductive health, normal spermatogenesis, sperm maturation, motility and capacitation, as well as normal sperm function. In this review, the potential role of these trace elements in male reproductive health, normal function of spermatozoa and fertility potency were considered. We selected and reviewed articles that considered crucial roles of trace elements in human sperm function and fertility. Ca is essential for sperm motility and its hyperactivation, sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction, as well as sperm chemotaxis. Sodium (Na) and potassium (K) are involved in sperm motility and capacitation. Mg is necessary for normal ejaculation, spermatogenesis and sperm motility. Zn is one of the most significant nutrients in human semen. Seminal deficiency of Zn can be associated with delayed testicular development, impaired spermatogenesis, deficiency of sex hormones, oxidative stress and inflammation, and apoptosis. Se is another significant element which has antioxidative properties and is essential for spermatogenesis and the maintenance of male fertility. Mn is a potent stimulator for sperm motility; however, increased level of seminal plasma Se can be toxic for sperm. Like Se, Cu has antioxidative properties and has a positive effect on sperm parameters. Decreased level of these trace elements can negatively affect human reproductive health, semen quality, sperm normal function and as the result, fertility potency in men. Measurement of these trace elements in men with idiopathic infertility is necessary.