Dept. of Biochemistry, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, ul. Jordana 19, 41-808 Zabrze, Poland
Introduction: The present study investigated associations between environmental exposure to magnesium (Mg) and the levels of oxidative stress parameters and selected cytokines, and the antioxidant defense system in the seminal plasma of fertile males. Materials and methods: The study population consisted of 57 healthy, non-smoking, fertile men from the southern region of Poland. Based on the median magnesium levels in seminal plasma, subjects were divided into two groups: those with low (Mg-L) and high (Mg-H) magnesium concentrations. Results: Differences were not observed between the Mg-L and Mg-H groups as regards semen volume, pH, count, motility, or morphology of sperm cells. In the Mg-H group, cholesterol levels were significantly higher (77%) compared with the Mg-L group: however, γ-glutamyltranspeptidase activity was significantly lower (21%). The values of total oxidant status were significantly different between the two groups, with 78% higher values observed in the Mg-H group compared with the Mg-L group, whereas malondialdehyde levels did not differ significantly. The values for total antioxidant capacity and uric acid levels were significantly lower in the Mg-H group compared with the Mg-L group (14% and 17%, respectively). However, levels of bilirubin, albumin, thiol groups and α-tocopherol were significantly higher in the Mg-H group (71%, 44%, 35% and 47%, respectively). Conclusion: No associations between Mg levels in the seminal plasma of fertile males and standard semen parameters were found. However, Mg levels may be associated with altered function of the non-enzymatic antioxidant system.