Effect of whey protein supplementation on sperm quality and fertility in male mice

Shathmigha Ketheeswaran, Susanne Elisabeth Pors, Lenin Arturo Zuniga Jara, Camilla Engel Lemser, Terese Kimmie Høj, Jane Alrø Bøtkjær, Preben Christensen, Peter Humaidan, Stine Gry Kristensen

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Protein supplements are a billion-dollar industry and the intake of these supplements is increasing, especially among young men. However, little is known about whether consumption of these products affects the reproductive health. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of whey protein supplementation on the sperm quality and reproductive health of male mice. A total of 48 male NMRI mice were fed with either plain tap water or a high dose of whey protein (Whey100, BodyLab) supplemented in the drinking water for 3 months. Mice was individually housed with two female mice for five days and reproductive parameters were assessed. DNA fragmentation index (DFI) was assessed at 0 h and 4 h of in vitro incubation using a sperm DNA integrity test (SDI®-test). No significant differences were detected between the groups in the epididymal sperm count, sperm motility, DFI, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), serum testosterone, body and seminal vesicles weights, relative testis and epididymal weights, testicular morphology, number of impregnated females, or litter size. No correlation was found between ORP and DFI. These results suggest that the highest recommended human dose of whey protein supplementation do not significantly impair the sperm quality and fertility in male mice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number111366
    JournalFood and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
    Pages (from-to)111366
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


    • DNA fragmentation Index
    • Fertility
    • Male mice
    • Oxidative stress
    • Protein supplementation
    • Sperm quality


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