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Animals 2019, 9(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9020034

The Effect of Dietary Supplementation of Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc, Folic Acid, and N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Sperm Motility and Membrane Properties in Dogs

1
Società Veterinaria “Il Melograno” Srl, via Cavour 48, 21018 Sesto Calende, Varese, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria (DiMeV), Sezione di Clinica Ostetrica, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, via per Casamassima km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
Full-Text   |   PDF [306 KB, uploaded 29 January 2019]

Simple Summary

Practitioners look for specific treatments to solve sub-fertility, which nowadays represents a common challenge in canine reproduction. In human, as well as in veterinary medicine, several dietary protocols have been developed to relieve poor sperm concentration and function. They both are constraining factors of breeding programs. Particularly, food supplementation should include micronutrients and anti-oxidants in balanced amounts, exploiting their synergistic actions. Thus, the cumulative effect of vitamin E, selenium, zinc, folic acid, and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on sperm motility and membrane properties was investigated in healthy normospermic dogs. Results of a 90-day-long supplementation period were compared to a control group, not receiving any dietary integration. The positive results obtained in healthy subjects on sperm motility and membrane properties lead us to consider the opportunity to further use the dietary strategy to improve seminal parameters in sub-fertile dogs, too, as reported for other species. Food supplementation and a balanced diet can be pointed out as cheap and safe alternatives within an innovative multimodal approach to improve reproductive performances in healthy dogs.

Abstract

Sub-fertility represents a common challenge in canine reproduction. Different protocols, supplementing daily given quantities of micronutrients, were investigated to improve poor sperm concentration and/or function, which represent breeding major constraining factors in the canine species. Little information is available for dogs concerning the effect of a daily supplementation with a complex of vitamin E, zinc, selenium, folic acid, and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on semen quality. Thus, the present study investigated this effect on semen motility and sperm membrane properties. Serial semen analyses from fourteen healthy normospermic dogs, fed with the same commercial diet, were performed on Days 0 (T0), 30 (T30), 60 (T60), and 90 (T90). Seven dogs were randomly included in the treatment (T) group, receiving a supplementation of vitamin E, zinc, selenium, folic acid, n-3 PUFA; and seven other subjects composed the control (C) group. Total Sperm Count (TSC), Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA) indexes, mortality, and functional membrane integrity were assessed. The ANOVA compared results between groups and sampling times (p < 0.05). From T60, the supplementation significantly improved TSC, progressive motility, functional membrane integrity, and decreased mortality. Present results lead us to consider ameliorative effects of a two-month healthy diet supplementation on canine spermatozoa. The positive effects of the described balanced integration of micronutrients on sperm motility and prevention of oxidative stress should be considered, especially when decreased seminal parameters may result from inadequate intake, reduced absorption, increased losses or demand, or to attenuate the impact of age. View Full-Text
Keywords: canine semen; diet supplementation; dog; selenium; spermatozoa; sperm motility; vitamin E; vitamin B9; zinc canine semen; diet supplementation; dog; selenium; spermatozoa; sperm motility; vitamin E; vitamin B9; zinc
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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Alonge, S.; Melandri, M.; Leoci, R.; Lacalandra, G.M.; Caira, M.; Aiudi, G.G. The Effect of Dietary Supplementation of Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc, Folic Acid, and N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Sperm Motility and Membrane Properties in Dogs. Animals 2019, 9, 34.

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