Red Palm Fruit Oil

H. Spermatozoa

  • 1. In vitro red palm oil (RPO) administration to human spermatozoa : finding a suitable solvent

    Aboua, Y.G. et al. (2007). In vitro red palm oil (RPO) administration to human spermatozoa : finding a suitable solvent. Medical Technology SA. 21(1): 8-9.

    Red palm oil (RPO) has been extensively researched for its antioxidant properties, anti-cancer activities and cardiovascular protective effects. In order to test RPO as a possible in vitro scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human sperm a suitable solvent has to be found to introduce RPO to the sperm media because of its hydrophobic nature. In this study we tried to find the best solvent for RPO with the least detrimental effects on sperm motility. RPO was dissolved in different concentrations of solvents : ethanol (75%), dimethylsulphonate [DMSO] (87.5%) and propanol glycol [PGly] (50%) to determine the ease of solubility. These solvents were also added alone to post swim-up normozoospermic samples respectively and their effect on motility was investigated. The most suitable solvent was selected and tested in combination with RPO to determine the combined effects on motility. Motility analysis was performed by computer aided sperm analysis (CASA). It was found that of the 3 solvents tested, PGly (also known as polyethylene glycol) was able to dissolve RPO at much lower concentrations than the other two solvents. Furthermore, PGly has shown to have the least detrimental effects on sperm motility. When RPO was administered in combination with PGly it was able to attenuate the harmful effects that higher dosages of PGly have on sperm motility.

  • 2. Red palm oil : a natural good samaritan for sperm apoptosis?

    Aboua; Y. G. et al. (2009). Red palm oil : a natural good samaritan for sperm apoptosis? Medical Technology SA. 23(1): 8-10.

    Cumene hydroperoxide (cHP) and t-butyl hydroperoxide (tbHP) have been implicated in lipid peroxidation of sperm plasma membranes, DNA damage and apoptosis. This study aimed to investigate the in vivo effects of these hydroxides on rat sperm apoptosis, specifically caspase 3/7, and the possible protective effect offered by red palm oil (RPO). Rats (n=54) were divided into three groups receiving either standard rat chow (SRC; n=18), 2mL RPO (in 25g SRC/day; n=18) and 4mL RPO (in 25g SRC/day; n=18), respectively. Furthermore, each group was divided into three subgroups (n=6). These subgroups consisted of rats injected with saline (control), 10µM cHP or 20µM tbHP. Rats fed with SRC and injected with 10µM of cHP or 20µM of tbHP showed a significant increase (P<0.05) in caspase 3/7 activity compared to the control group (injected with 0.5mL saline). On the other hand, animals fed with SRC in addition to 2mL or 4mL of RPO and injected with 10µM of cHP or 20µM of tbHP showed a significant decrease (P<0.05) in the production of caspase 3/7 activity compared to those fed with SRC only. It can be concluded that RPO possibly reduces caspase 3/7 activity, thereby, inhibiting apoptosis caused in rat sperm by the in vivo induction of hydroperoxide.

  • 3. A red palm oil diet can reduce the effects of oxidative stress on rat spermatozoa.

    Aboua; Y. G. et al. (2012). A red palm oil diet can reduce the effects of oxidative stress on rat spermatozoa. Andrologia. 44(1):32-40.

    Male Wistar rats (n = 54) received daily supplementation of red palm oil (RPO: 0, 2, 4 ml). Subgroups were subsequently injected with saline, cumene hydroperoxide (cHP, 10 μm) or t-butyl hydroperoxide (tbHP, 20 μm) over a 60-day period after which animals were sacrificed. Epididymal sperm motility, concentration, reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation and enzymes were measured. Sperm concentration, motility, superoxide dismutase (SOD) concentration, glutathione (GSH) and catalase (CAT) activities were significantly lower, while dichlorofluorescein (DCF) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were higher in sperm of hydroperoxide-treated animals compared to controls (P < 0.05). DCF and MDA levels were significantly lower, while SOD, CAT and GSH were significantly higher in the sperm of rats supplemented with RPO in combination with hydroperoxide treatment when compared to those receiving hydroperoxide and no RPO supplementation (P < 0.05). Moreover, the DCF, SOD, CAT and GSH levels in the RPO hydroperoxide groups did not differ from control values (P > 0.05). RPO supplementation can successfully attenuate the oxidative stress-induced sperm damage due to organic hydroperoxide exposure. We therefore propose that a daily intake of RPO supplement to the diet might be helpful in protecting males against the adverse effects of high ROS in sperm function and help preserve fertility.