Author(s): Sierens J, Hartley JA, Campbell MJ, Leathem AJ, Woodside JV
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Abstract Isoflavones are plant compounds, proposed to have health benefits in a variety of human diseases, including coronary heart disease and endocrine-responsive cancers. Their physiological effects include possible antioxidant activity, therefore suggesting a role for isoflavones in the prevention of male infertility. The aim of this study was to test the antioxidant effects of the isoflavones genistein and equol on sperm DNA integrity, assessed in vitro after hydrogen peroxide-mediated damage, using the comet assay. Pre-treatment with genistein or equol at doses of 0.01-100 micromol/l significantly protected sperm DNA against oxidative damage. Both ascorbic acid (10-600 micromol/l) and alpha-tocopherol (1-100 micromol/l) also protected. Compared with ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol, added at physiological concentrations, genistein was the most potent antioxidant, followed by equol, ascorbic acid, and alpha-tocopherol. Genistein and equol added in combination were more protective than when added singly. Based on these preliminary data, which are similar to those observed previously in lymphocytes, these compounds may have a role to play in antioxidant protection against male infertility. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in Teratog Carcinog Mutagen
and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry