Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6 is a member of the Vitamin B family. Though absolutely essential, this vitamin is not produced by our body. The required levels of pyridoxine are maintained by the consumption of foods like poultry, bread, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, etc. If your daily intake of vitamin B6 is low, dietary supplements can be taken after consulting with a healthcare professional.
Male infertility generally refers to the failure of a man to induce pregnancy. This can be accounted to deficiencies in the sperm qualities. There is a wide range of reasons that may cause this particular medical condition. Often, the conditions are treatable.
The presence of Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has been established in the sperms. Thus, the concept of consumption of pyridoxine supplements to induce sperm fertility is not far-fetched and is taken into serious consideration.
Functions of Pyridoxine
The function of pyridoxine is not limited to male fertility. Some of the other vital functions are given below.
- It is essential to maintain carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.
- It is involved in the production of neurotransmitters and red blood cells.
- It is related to glycogen metabolism.
- It helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain.
- It aids in the production of melatonin and is essential for brain development.
Effects on Pyridoxine on male fertility
The action of Pyridoxine as a co-enzyme is vital in the transsulfuration of homocysteine into cysteine and cystathionine. It was reported that deficiency of Vitamin B6 causes homocysteine to be accumulated in the body. This has a direct impact on spermatogenesis.
Though further clinical trials and research need to be conducted, it can be suggested that the lack of pyridoxine affects the sperm parameters, which includes its quality and motility. It can be further suggested that normal levels of pyridoxine are required to maintain sperm functionalities.
Human semen has the glutathione system, which includes glutathione reductase, glutathione, and glutathione peroxidase. This system seems to counteract the free radicals and provide protection to the sperms in terms of oxidative injury.
Deficiency in Vitamin B6 affects the glutathione system significantly. Studies indicate that infertile men have an altered glutathione system when compared to fertile men. Hence, it can be reported that lack of pyridoxine may affect the glutathione system and thus, impact the anti-oxidant defense technique and cause injury to the sperms. This may be indirectly linked with male infertility.
Studies from rodents suggest that pyridoxine levels have an impact on sperm parameters. High doses can impair the semen functionalities considerably. Even though it has been proved that Vitamin B6 is present in sperm and high levels of it can cause degeneration of germ cells, a direct relationship with the sperm parameters is yet to be established.
Clinical and in-vitro studies of the direct effect of pyridoxine on sperm quality are quite important and can substantially contribute to the on-going research of the vitamin’s effect on male infertility.
Based on several rodent research and male ejaculates, it can be suggested that mild doses of pyridoxine might be helpful in the treatment of male infertility. More research and concrete scientific evidence are required to state this fact with absolute conviction.