The process of cryopreservation allows human sperm carrying DNA to be frozen in time until the sperm is ready for use. Protecting the integrity of sperm and DNA is important to the success of fertility treatments. Researchers at the Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics in Tunisia focused on cryopreservation effect on caspase 3 activation and the ability of quercetin to protect sperm integrity during the freeze/thaw.

The study involved 17 participants who submitted semen samples that were frozen with SpermFreeze. Nine of the 17 samples were used for the quercetin project. Each sample was separated into two aliquots – one preserved with just SpermFreeze and the other with SpermFreeze and quercetin.

When the samples were thawed, researchers noted the sperm motility, DNA fragmentation and oxidation and activation of caspase 3 in both samples.

Quercetin appears to have a protective effect during the freeze/thaw process, specifically regarding sperm viability and motility.

Source: Zribi N, Chakroun NF, Abdallah FB, Elleuch H, Sellami A, Gargouri J, Rebai T, Fakhfakh F, Keskes LA. Effect of freezing-thawing process and quercetin on human sperm survival and DNA integrity. Cryobiology. 2012 Sep 22. pii: S0011-2240(12)00228-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2012.09.003.