Various studies have revealed the effects of vitamin B12, also named cobalamin, on semen quality and sperm physiology; however, these studies collectively are still unsummarized. Here, we systematically discuss and summarize the currently understood role of vitamin B12 on semen quality and sperm physiology. We searched the Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus databases for only English language articles or abstracts from September 1961 to March 2017 (inclusive) using the key words “vitamin B12” and “cobalamin” versus “sperm”. Certain relevant references were included to support the empirical as well as the mechanistic discussions. In conclusion, the mainstream published work demonstrates the positive effects of vitamin B12 on semen quality: first, by increasing sperm count, and by enhancing sperm motility and reducing sperm DNA damage, though there are a few in vivo system studies that have deliberated some adverse effects. The beneficial effects of vitamin B12 on semen quality may be due to increased functionality of reproductive organs, decreased homocysteine toxicity, reduced amounts of generated nitric oxide, decreased levels of oxidative damage to sperm, reduced amount of energy produced by spermatozoa, decreased inflammation-induced semen impairment, and control of nuclear factor-κB activation. However, additional research, mainly clinical, is still needed to confirm these positive effects.
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