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Seminal but not Serum Levels of Holotranscobalamin are Altered in Morbid Obesity and Correlate with Semen Quality: A Pilot Single Centre Study

1
Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
2
Endocrinology Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”-University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy
3
Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, 50134 Florence, Italy
4
Department of Biosciences, School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton, Nottingham NG11 8NS, UK
5
Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, 50122 Florence, Italy
6
Istituto Nazionale Biostrutture e Biosistemi (INBB), viale delle Medaglie d’Oro 305, 00136 Rome, Italy
7
Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, College Street, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7DJ, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors equally contributed to the study.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1540; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071540
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential cofactor in the one-carbon metabolism. One-carbon metabolism is a set of complex biochemical reactions, through which methyl groups are utilised or generated, and thus plays a vital role to many cellular functions in humans. Low levels of cobalamin have been associated to metabolic/reproductive pathologies. However, cobalamin status has never been investigated in morbid obesity in relation with the reduced semen quality. We analysed the cross-sectional data of 47-morbidly-obese and 21 lean men at Careggi University Hospital and evaluated total cobalamin (CBL) and holotranscobalamin (the active form of B12; holoTC) levels in serum and semen. Both seminal and serum concentrations of holoTC and CBL were lower in morbidly obese compared to lean men, although the difference did not reach any statistical significance for serum holoTC. Seminal CBL and holoTC were significantly higher than serum levels in both groups. Significant positive correlations were observed between seminal holoTC and total sperm motility (r = 0.394, p = 0.012), sperm concentration (r = 0.401, p = 0.009), total sperm number (r = 0.343, p = 0.028), and negative correlation with semen pH (r = −0.535, p = 0.0001). ROC analysis supported seminal holoTC as the best predictor of sperm number (AUC = 0.769 ± 0.08, p = 0.006). Our findings suggest that seminal rather than serum levels of holoTC may represent a good marker of semen quality in morbidly obese subjects. View Full-Text
Keywords: active vitamin B12; cobalamin; morbid obesity; body mass index; sperm; seminal plasma active vitamin B12; cobalamin; morbid obesity; body mass index; sperm; seminal plasma
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Samavat, J.; Cantini, G.; Lorubbio, M.; Degl’Innocenti, S.; Adaikalakoteswari, A.; Facchiano, E.; Lucchese, M.; Maggi, M.; Saravanan, P.; Ognibene, A.; Luconi, M. Seminal but not Serum Levels of Holotranscobalamin are Altered in Morbid Obesity and Correlate with Semen Quality: A Pilot Single Centre Study. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1540.

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