Foreword

Oxidative stress is a universal phenomenon of aerobic life, you cannot escape it, nor should you wish to [1].

In the early days of research in the field, oxygen radicals and other "reactive oxygen/ nitrogen species" (RONS) were universally thought of as deleterious molecules that must be eliminated at all costs by high levels of endogenous or exogenous antioxidants. Indeed, at high levels they are deleterious, e.g. to spermatozoa, other parts of the reproductive system and indeed to all cells and tissues. Sperm must be protected by their own antioxidants and by those in the bodily secretions surrounding them. Yet we now realise that RONS play key physiological roles, helping us to adapt to stress, defending us against infection and regulating physiological/pathological processes such as signal transduction and the intensity of inflammation [2-5].

The reproductive system is a beautiful example of all these principles. RONS at the correct level help to modulate uterine function, ovulation, the progress (or failure) of pregnancy and the behaviour of sperm, e.g. in response to inflammation in the surrounding tissues or even to electromagnetic radiation. Sperm generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondria and by NADPH oxidase enzymes and these ROS may regulate sperm function (e.g. capacitation). Yet ROS can also damage sperm, e.g. during storage or handling procedures for in vitro fertilisation or during thermal stress. The highly polyunsaturated sperm lipids are a particular target.

This book "Studies on Men's Health and Fertility" is therefore extremely timely. Edited by three experts who have contributed enormously to the field, Ashok Agarwal, Juan Alvarez and Robert John Aitken, it examines all aspects of the roles of RONS in male fertility/infertility and semen quality; as well as their role in other conditions such as testicular torsion, variococele and erectile dysfunction. Each chapter is well written, carefully edited and appropriately referenced. I learned a great deal from reading this book, and I am sure that you the reader will do so as well. I recommend it strongly.

Singapore Barry Halliwell

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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