Is Vitamin B6 Key to Male Fertility? - Chromatography Investigates
May 06 2020
Vitamin B6 is a member of the vitamin B group and is essential for normal growth and development. It is also known as pyridoxine and we can get it from a wide variety of foods including pork, chicken, fish, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. We should be able to get all the vitamin B6 we need from a healthy varied and balanced daily diet.
Vitamin B6 plays a key role in the body’s metabolism - but studies also suggest that vitamin B6 plays a key role in keeping sperm healthy and mobile. Key factors in reproductive medicine. A recent paper in the journal aNDROLOGIa - Seminal plasma vitamin B6 levels in men with asthenozoospermia and men with normal sperm motility, a measurement using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry - reports on a study that aimed to check this hypothesis using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry.
Vitamin B6 needed all over the body
Vitamin B6 is part of the vitamin B group of essential nutrients we need to grow, develop and survive. The metabolically active form of vitamin B6 is called pyridoxal 5’-phosphate or PLP. It is known to be involved in many aspects of metabolism including neurotransmitter synthesis, gene expression, and macronutrient metabolism. It also serves as a coenzyme of many biological reactions including decarboxylation, elimination reactions and racemization. Vitamin B6 metabolism takes place in the liver. The biochemical functions that vitamin B6 is involved in suggest that it may play a role in sperm motility of health.
Vitamin B6 and sperm
Animal studies have suggested that vitamin B6 levels impact semen quality and other sperm parameters. Studies have also shown that vitamin B6 deficiency may alter gonadal function since vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of testosterone. These results suggest that in animal models vitamin B6 may affect sperm function and motility. But what about in humans?
The study referenced above aimed to measure the seminal plasma vitamin B6 levels in men with normal sperm motility and those suffering from asthenozoospermia - low sperm motility compared to the normal level. The study analysed the semen samples from 185 human males for sperm motility, sperm count and semen volume.
Does vitamin B6 concentration matter
The seminal plasma vitamin B6 concentrations in the study participants were analysed using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. The use of chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyse biological samples is discussed in the article, Analysis of Fenfluramine and Norfenfluramine in Mouse Brain and Cerebellum by Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry using a Novel Solid-Supported Liquid Extraction.
The researchers found that there was a significant difference in seminal plasma vitamin B6 concentrations between the two groups. But the researchers report that the seminal plasma vitamin B6 was found not to be correlated with sperm motility and count, semen volume and men age in both tested groups. The results could help in the management of male infertility.
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