Critical Commentary

Lycopene is one of the most potent, highly lipophilic antioxidants. Low lycopene intake has been associated with a decrease in sperm concentration, motility, and morphology levels [60]. While its main action is antioxidative, it also has antiproliferative, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory effects and influences on cell differentiation, communication, and signaling. The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a cell surface multiligand receptor that is activated by advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Activation of RAGE induces cellular response and results in OS [62]. Since OS is recognized as an important contributing factor to male infertility [63], the release of sRAGE may aid in the removal/ neutralization of proinflammatory ligands. Lycopene has been shown to reduce seminal sRAGE levels [61], illustrating a potential role in treating ROS-associated male infertility. Lycopene's effects are most likely an antioxidative course of action or from an increased clearance of AGE ligand/sRAGE complexes.

Preliminary, controlled studies indicate a promising role for lycopene in treating ROS-associated male infertility. Lycopene supplementation has been shown to improve sperm count, concentration, motility, morphology, and pregnancy rates [59, 64]. Moreover, there were no reported side effects or complications from treatment. Future studies using larger sample sizes must be conducted to further investigate the role of lycopene supplementation in the treatment of iOAT.

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