EFFECT OF ASCORBIC ACID SUPPLEMENTATION ON SPERM ACROSIN ACTIVITY IN CIGARETTE SMOKERS
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Thirty heavy smoking men randomly divided into one of two subgroups (each contained 15 men). Each participant from the first subgroup of smokers took 1000-mg AA tablets daily for 4 weeks. For the same period, the second subgroup took placebo tablets, serving as a negative control. Another fifteen of the non-smokers participated also as a separate group and took 1000-mg tablets of AA/day, serving as a positive control. Semen analyses of all were normal. Acrosin activity of sperms by gelatin substrate film technique was surveyed. Serum and seminal plasma ascorbic acid levels were measured and expressed as mg/dL. Statistically significant increases in the acrosin activity and ascorbic acid levels in the treated subgroup were observed weekly. After the 4 weeks of supplementation, no significant difference was detected between the treated subgroup and nonsmokers. However, no significant weekly changes were observed in the nonsmokers or the placebo subgroup. The increases in AA levels and acrosin activity in the treated smokers indicate that increased ascorbic acid bioavailability was associated with the Tanta Medical Journal 1098 pronounced improvement in sperm acrosin activity. This useful effect of AA supplementation on acrosin activity may be due to its reductive properties nullifying the possible injurious effects of the reactive oxidants of nicotine or nicotine metabolites.