Zinc Plays Vital Role in Human and Animal Fertility

Friday, June 29, 2018

Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) have found that zinc plays a key role in promoting fertility in males, a discovery that has implications for improved in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination in livestock, and for human infertility diagnostics and therapies.

“Zinc is linked directly with fertility, and giving males zinc supplements—whether pigs or humans—improves fertility,” according to Peter Sutovsky, a professor of animal science at MU.

“Infertility is a costly issue for both humans and animals,” said doctoral student Karl Kerns “This study gives us tools to approach the problem more efficiently by demonstrating the importance of zinc—both as a mediator of fertility and as an indicator we can use to identify issues with sperm. If we could add just one more pig to every litter that would increase the income of U.S. pork farmers by $130 million per year.”

NIFA supports this research through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Watch the video at MU News Bureau.

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