Effects of parsley supplementation on the seminal quality, blood lipid profile and oxidant status of young and old male rabbits

Y.M. El-Gindy, H.S. Zeweil


The high unsaturation levels of spermatozoal membrane make it very susceptible to oxidative damage and this problem increases with advancing age. In this study, the aim is to investigate whether parsley seed (PS) has a protective effect on semen quality, serum lipid profile and antioxidative status of old and young bucks. Male rabbits (n= 36) (18 young 9-12 mo old and 18 old 36-42 mo old) were each assigned to 3 dietary treatments (a control and 2 levels of PS: 0.3 and 0.6 kg/100 kg diet) to evaluate the ability of parsley to enhance bucks’ reproductive status. Most of the studied traits were adversely affected by age of rabbit bucks. On the other hand, the inclusion of PS significantly boosted ejaculate volume and improved mass motility concentration and total sperm output. Seminal plasma and blood serum total antioxidant capacity increased, while serum lipid peroxidase decreased with parsley treatments. In conclusion, dietary supplementation of parsley seed alleviates most semen quality parameters and counteracts oxidative stress, especially with the advance of age (seminal plasma and blood serum of total antioxidant capacity and malondialdehyde.


rabbit; parsley; seminal quality; blood lipid; rabbit age

Full Text:



Abd El-Baky A.E. 2011. Quercetin protective action on oxidative stress, sorbitol, insulin resistance and ß-cells function in experimental diabetic rats. IJPSR., 2: 11-18.

Ahsan S.K., Shah A.H., Tanira M.O.M., Ahmad M.S., Tariq M., Ageel A.M. 1990. Studies on some herbal drugs used against kidney stones in Saudi folk medicine. Fitoterapia, 61: 435-438.

Aitken R.J., Baker M.A. 2002. Reactive oxygen species generation by human spermatozoa: a continuing enigma. Int. J. Androl., 25: 191-194.


Aitken R.J., Baker M.A. 2004. Oxidative stress and male reproductive biology. Reprod. Fert. Dev., 16: 581-588. https://doi.org/10.1071/RD03089

Al-Janabi M. 2014. The antibacterial and antioxidant characteristic of Parsley in seminal fluids of infertile men. Global J. Bio-sci. Biotech., 3: 388-390.

Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). 2006. Official methods of analysis, 18th edition. AOAC, Arlington, VA, USA.

Auger J., Kunstmann J.M., Czyglik F., Jouannet P. 1995. Decline in semen quality among fertile men in Paris during the past 20 years. N. Engl. J. Med., 332: 281-285. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM199502023320501

Baccetti B. 1985. Evolution of the sperm cell. In: Ch. B. Metz & A. Monroy (eds.), Biology of fertilization. Academic Press, New York, 3-58.


Baghdadi H.H. 2014. Antioxidant potential of quercetin: remarkable protection against hypercholesterolemia in rats. Bri. J. Medicine & Medical Res., 4: 4382-4391.

Baker M.A., Aitken R.J. 2004. The importance of redox regulated pathways in sperm cell biology. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol., 216: 47-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2003.10.068

Bixi J., Shaolong Y., Dongquan C., Irshad C., Raghavan R. 2011. Influence of aging and haemorrhage injury on Sirt1 expression: Possible role of myc-Sirt1 regulation in mitochondrial function. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Mol. Basis. Dis., 11: 1446-1451.

De Blas J.C., Mateos G.G. 1998. Feed formulation. In: De Blas, J.C., Wiseman J., (Ed). The nutrition of rabbit. Ed CABI publishing, UK. pp.241-254.

Dixit P., Ghaskadbi S., Mohan H., Devasagayam T.P. 2005. Antioxidant properties of germinated fenugreek seeds. Phytother. Res., 19: 977-983. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1769

Droge W. 2003. Oxidative stress and aging. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., 543: 191-200.


Duncan D.B. 1955. Multiple range and multiple F tests. Biometrics, 11: 1-42. https://doi.org/10.2307/3001478

El-Damrawy S.Z., El-Kholy K.H., Eid Y.Z., Nematallh G.M.A. 2008. Age-induced oxidative stress in rabbit bucks: protective effect of melatonin. J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ., 33: 3323-3330.

Farah H., Elbadrawy E., Al-Atoom A. 2015. Evaluation of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of ethanoic extracts of Parsley (Petroselinum erispum) and Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) plants grown in Saudi Arabia. Int. J. Adv. Res., 3: 1244-1255.

Henkel R., Maass G., Schuppe H.C., Jung A., Schubert J., Schill W.B. 2005. Molecular aspects of declining sperm motility in older men. Fertil. Steril., 84: 1430. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.05.020

Hirano R., Sasamoto W., Matsumoto A. 2001. Antioxidant ability of various flavonoids against DPPH radicals and LDL oxidation. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. (Tokyo), 47: 357-362. https://doi.org/10.3177/jnsv.47.357

International Rabbit Reproduction Group (IRRG). 2005. Guidelines for the handling of rabbit bucks and semen. World Rabbit. Sci.,13: 71- 91. https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2005.527

Jimenez-Alvarez D., Giuffrida F., Golay P.A., Cotting C., Lardeau A., Keely B.J. 2008. Antioxidant activity of oregano, parsley and olive mill wastewaters in bulk oils and oil in water emulsions enriched in fish oil. J. Agric. Food Chem., 56: 7151-7159. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf801154r

Juyena S.N., Stelletta G. 2012. Seminal Plasma: An Essential Attribute to Spermatozoa (Review). J. Andro., 33: 536-551. https://doi.org/10.2164/jandrol.110.012583

Kamar G.A.R. 1960. The influence of semen characteristics on hatching results of chicken eggs. Poultry Sci., 39: 188-192. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.0390188

Kery A., Blazovics A., Fejes S., Nagy E., Lugasi A. L., Kursinszki E., Czinner T., Kristo S., Apati P., Balazs A., Szoke E. 2001. Antioxidant activity of medicinal plants used in phototherapy. Intern. J. Hortic. Sci., 7: 28-35.

Keskes-Ammar L., Feki-Chakroun N., Rebai T., Sahnoun Z., Ghozzi H., Hammami S. 2003. Sperm oxidative stress and the effect of an oral vitamin E and selenium supplement on semen quality in infertile men. Arch. Androl., 49: 83-94. https://doi.org/10.1080/01485010390129269

Khatoon F., Abdullah F.E., Mushtaq M., Balouch S.Z. 2014. Correlation of Fructose with Spermatogenesis. Pinnacle Biochem. Res., 1: 188-193.


Kidd S.A., Eskenazi B., Wyrobek A.J. 2001. Effects of male age on semen quality and fertility: a review of the literature. Fertil. Steril., 75: 237-248.

Koca Y., Ozdal O.L., Celik M., Unal S., Balaban N. 2003. Antioxidant activity of seminal plasma in fertile and infertile men. Arch. Androl., 49: 355-359. https://doi.org/10.1080/01485010390219728

Lewis S.E.M., Sterling E.S.L., Young I.S., Thompson W. 1997. Comparison of individual antioxidants of sperm and seminal plasma in fertile and infertile men. Fertli. Steril., 67: 142-147. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0015-0282(97)81871-7

Mann T. 1948. Fructose content and fructolysis in semen. Practical application in the evaluation of semen quality. J. Agri. Sci., 38: 323-331. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021859600006109

Marin-Guzman J., Mahan D.C., Pate J.L. 2000. Effect of dietary selenium and vitamin E on spermatogenic development in boars. J. Anim. Sci., 78: 1537-1543. https://doi.org/10.2527/2000.7861537x

Marzouk M., Soliman A.M., Omar T.Y. 2013. Hypoglycemic and antioxidative effects of fenugreek and termis seeds powder in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Eur. Rev. Med Pharmacol. Sci., 17: 559-565.

McDonald L.E., Capen C.C. 1989. Introduction, In: Lea and Febiger, Veterinary Endocrinology and Reproduction, Philadelphia, Ed: McDonald, L.E., Pineda, M.H., 1-19.

Molina R.I., Martini A.C., Tissera A., Olmedo J., Senestrari D., de Cuneo M.F., Ruiz R.D. 2010. Semen quality and aging: analysis of 9.168 samples in Cordoba. Argentina. Andrology. Arch. Esp. Urol., 63: 214-221.

Moule G.R. 1965. Field investigations with sheep: a manual of techniques. G.R. Moule (Ed.) CSIRO, Division of Animal Physiology, Melbourne, Australia.

Narendra, P., Singh, M.B., Charles, H., Muller, B., Richard, E.B., 2003. Effects of age on DNA double-strand breaks and apoptosis in human sperm. Fertil. Steril., 80: 1420-1430. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2003.04.002

Nielsen S.E., Young J.F., Daneshvar B., Lauridsen S.T., Knuthsen P., Sandstrom B. 1999. Effect of parsley intake on urinary apigenin excretion, blood antioxidant enzymes and biomarkers for oxidative stress in human subjects. Br. J. Nutr., 81: 447-455. https://doi.org/10.1017/S000711459900080X

Ohkawa H, Ohishi N, Yagi K. 1979. Assay of lipid peroxidation in animal tissues by thiobarbituric acid reaction. Anal. Biochem., 95: 351-358.


Oldereid N.B., Thosmassen Y., Purvis K. 1998. Selenium in human male reproductive organs. Hum. Reprod., 13: 2172-2176. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/13.8.2172

Ozturk Y., Baser C.H.K., Aydin S. 1991. Hepatoprotective antihepatotoxic plants in Turkey. In: Proceedings of the 9th Symposium on Plant Drugs, Eskisehir, Turkey, 40-50.

Ragab M., Baselga M. 2011. A comparison of reproductive traits of four maternal lines of rabbits selected for litter size at weaning and founded on different criteria. Livestock Sci., 136: 201-206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2010.09.009

Rajeshwari C.U., Abirami M., Andallu B. 2011a. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant potential of aniseeds (Pimpinella anisum) Asian J. Exp. Biol. Sci., 2: 80-89.

Rajeshwari U., Shobha I., Andallu B. 2011b. Comparison of aniseeds and coriander seeds for antidiabetic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant activities. Spatula DD 1: 9-16. https://doi.org/10.5455/spatula.20110106123144

Salisbury, G. W., Hart, R. G., 1970. Gamete aging and its consequences. Biol. Reprod. Suppl., 2: 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod2.Supplement_2.1

SAS, 2004. Institute Inc. SAS On line Doc 9.1.3. Cary, NC: SAS Institute. Inc.

Smith J.T., Mayer D.T. 1955. Evaluation of sperm concentration by the hemocytometer method. Fertil. Steril., 6: 271-275. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0015-0282(16)31987-2

Srinivasan V., Maestroni G.J.M., Cardinali D.P., Esquifino A.I., Pandi Perumal S.R., Miller S.C. 2005. Melatonin, immune function and aging. Immun. Aging, 2: 17. https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-4933-2-17

Stone B.A., Alex A., Werlin L.B., Marrs R.P. 2013. Age thresholds for changes in semen parameters in men. Fertil. Steril., 100: 952-958. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.05.046

Syntin P., Robaire B. 2001. Sperm structural and motility changes during aging in the Brown-Norway rat. J. Androl., 22: 235-244.

Tarin J.J., Perez-Albala S., Cano A. 2000. Consequence on off spring of abnormal function in ageing gametes. Human reprod. Updata, 6: 532-549.

Vaca C.E., Wilhelm J.M., Harms-Rihsdahl M. 1988. Interaction of lipid peroxidation product with DNA. Mutat. Res. Rev. Gen. Toxicol., 195: 137-149.


Vazquez-Memije M. E., Capin R., Tolosa A., El-Hafidi M. 2008. Analysis of age-associated changes in mitochondrial free radical generation by rat testis. Mol. Cell Biochem., 307: 23-


Vishwanath, R., Shannon, P., 1997. Do sperm cells age? A review of the physiological changes in sperm during storage at ambient temperature. Reprod. Fertil. Dev. 9: 321-331. https://doi.org/10.1071/R96088

Walker W.H. 2009. Molecular mechanisms of testosterone action in spermatogenesis. Steroids, 74: 602-607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.steroids.2008.11.017

Wang C., Chan V., Tse T.F., Yeung R.T. 1978. Effect of acute myocardial infarction on pituitary-testicular function. Clin.Endocrinol., (Oxf), 9: 249-253.

Weir C.P., Robaire B. 2007. Spermatozoa have decreased antioxidant enzymatic capacity and increased reactive oxygen species production during aging in the Brown Norway rat. J. Androl., 28: 229-240. https://doi.org/10.2164/jandrol.106.001362

Wilke M.S., French M.A., Goh Y.K., Ryan E.A., Jones P.J., Clandinin M.T. 2009. Synthesis of specific fatty acids contributes to VLDL-triacylglycerol composition in humans with and without type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia., 52: 1628-1637. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-009-1405-9

Wong P.Y.Y., Kitts D.D. 2006. Studies on the dual antioxidant and bacterial properties of parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) extracts. Food Chem., 97: 505-


Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)

© Universitat Politècnica de València. All rights reserved

© World Rabbit Science Associated. All rights reserved

e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011   https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs