Improvement in Sperm Quality and Reduction of DNA Fragmentation with Bee Pollen Supplementation: a Case Report

Document Type : Case reports or series


1 MSc. student. Department of Nutrition, School of Health, Qazvin University of Medical Science, Qazvin, Iran

2 MSc. Health research institute, Thalassemia & Hemoglobinopathy Research Center Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Ph.D. Department of Nutrition, School of Health, Qazvin University of Medical Science, Qazvin, Iran


Background: Infertility is a private, social and economic problem. It is defined as the inability to conceive within one year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. Some natural antioxidants can improve sperm quality and help infertile patients. We report a patient with idiopathic infertility who had been trying to conceive for eight years with no success.
Case Presentation: A 32-year-old non-smoker, overweight man, was referred from an urologist due to oligospermia. His infertility was diagnosed as idiopathic. He had been trying to have a child for eight years, had received antioxidant supplements for the first five years. Bee pollen in powder form was prepared and administered to the patient for two months. After intervention, all semen parameters except motility (grade d) increased. The inflammatory markers decreased due to supplementation. There was also an increase in testosterone level and a decrease in FSH, LH and prolactin levels following the eight-week treatment period. Moreover, sperm DNA fragmentation reduced from 32.4% to 12.7%.
Conclusion: Bee products have been used as medicinal substances since the ancient times. Bee pollen is rich in flavonoids, some of which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. In this study, we have shown that the spouse of a patient with idiopathic infertility can become pregnant after he received supplementation with bee pollen.


1. Jungwirth A, Giwercman A, Tournaye H, Diemer T, Kopa Z, Dohle G, et al. European Association of Urology guidelines on Male Infertility: the 2012 update. European urology. 2012;62(2):324-32.
2. Jungwirth A, Diemer T, Dohle G, Giwercman A, Kopa Z. Guidelines on male infertility. Euro Assoc Urol 2015.
3. Pierik FH, Van Ginneken AM, Dohle GR, Vreeburg J, Weber RF. The advantages of standardized evaluation of male infertility. International journal of andrology. 2000;23(6): 340-6.
4. Adewoyin M, Ibrahim M, Roszaman R, Isa MLM, Alewi NAM, Rafa AAA, et al. Male Infertility: The Effect of Natural Antioxidants and Phytocompounds on Seminal Oxidative Stress. Diseases. 2017;5(1):9.
5. Denisow B, Denisow Pietrzyk M. Biological and therapeutic properties of bee pollen: a review. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2016;96(13):4303-9.
6. Campos MG, Bogdanov S, de Almeida-Muradian LB, Szczesna T, Mancebo Y, Frigerio C, et al. Pollen composition and standardisation of analytical methods. Journal of Apicultural Research. 2008;47(2):154-61.
7. Liew SH, Meachem SJ, Hedger MP. A stereological analysis of the response of spermatogenesis to an acute inflammatory episode in adult rats. Journal of andrology. 2007;28(1):176-85.
8. D’agata R, Vicari E, Moncada M, Sidoti G, Calogero A, Fornito M, et al. Generation of reactive oxygen species in subgroups of infertile men. International journal of andrology. 1990;13(5):344-51.
9. Tadros NN, Sabanegh ES. Empiric medical therapy with hormonal agents for idiopathic male infertility. Indian journal of urology: IJU: journal of the Urological Society of India. 2017;33(3):194.
10. Majzoub A, Agarwal A. Antioxidant therapy in idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. Indian journal of urology: IJU: journal of the Urological Society of India. 2017;33(3):207.
11. Fakhrildin M-BM, Alsaadi RA. Honey Supplementation to Semen-Freezing Medium ImprovesHuman Sperm Parameters Post-Thawing. Journal of family & reproductive health. 2014;8(1):27.
12. Dawson EB, Harris WA, Rankin WE, Charpentier LA, McGANITY WJ. Effect of ascorbic acid on male fertility. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1987; 498(1):312-23.
13. Lewis SE, Sterling ESL, Young IS, Thompson W. Comparison of individual antioxidants of sperm and seminal plasma in fertile and infertile men. Fertility and sterility. 1997;67(1):142-7.
14. Huang S, Zhang C-P, Wang K, Li GQ, Hu F-L. Recent advances in the chemical composition of propolis. Molecules. 2014;19(12):19610-32.
15. Kumari S, Nayak G, Lukose ST, Kalthur SG, Bhat N, Hegde AR, et al. Indian propolis ameliorates the mitomycin C-induced testicular toxicity by reducing DNA damage and elevating the antioxidant activity. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2017;95:252-63.