The Role of Obesity in ROS Generation and Male Infertility

Anthony H. Kashou, Stefan S. du Plessis, and Ashok Agarwal


Aim: To discuss the relationship between obesity and male infertility, specifically exploring the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in obesity and the subsequent generation of oxidative stress, as well as abnormal hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal regulation associated with obese males.

Methods: Review of PubMed database.

Results: Both enhanced ROS generation and abnormal hormonal regulation due to obesity are strongly correlated to suboptimal semen quality and, thus, reduced male reproductive potential.

Conclusion: The continuing rise and prevalence of both obesity and declining male sperm count all over the world call for additional research and a greater awareness to obesity as a potential etiology of male infertility.

Keywords Male infertility • Obesity • Reactive oxygen species • Oxidative stress • Hormones

Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA

Division of Medical Physiology, Stellenbosch University Francie van Zijl Avenue, PO Box 19063, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa

Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Lerner College of Medicine, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA e-mail: [email protected]

A. Agarwal et al. (eds.), Studies on Men's Health and Fertility, Oxidative Stress 571

in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice, DOI 10.1007/978-1-61779-776-7_26, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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