Antioxidants do not increase fertility

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Antioxidants do not improve a woman’s chances of conceiving as have been suggested in previous studies. This is according to a new study from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Women who take oral antioxidants are no more likely to conceive and there was “limited information” about potential harmful effects.

A quarter of women in fertility treatments take supplements

Many people who look to help their fertility take supplements. Around 25% of people planning to have a baby experience trouble conceiving and many take antioxidants to increase their chances of getting pregnant. These researchers though say there is no sufficient evidence that this is the case. They add that many of the antioxidants taken are unregulated with little safety testing.

No increase in pregnancies

Researchers analyzed data from 28 trials involved over 3500 women undergoing fertility treatment. Treatment ranged from 12 days to two years. Analysis showed that a variety of antioxidants were used during these fertility treatments. They included: Octatron, multiple micronutrients and Fertility Blend, N-acetylcysteine, melatonin, L-arginine, vitamin E, Myo-inositol, vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Compared to women taking placebos or being given standard treatments with folic acid, there was no significant increase of women taking antioxidants getting pregnant.

No harmful effect either

When it comes to potential side effects of women taking antioxidants as part of fertility treatment, some theories have circulated that the antioxidants could be the cause of fertility problems in females. This research did not find any adverse side effects compared to women who used standard treatment.

“Antioxidants were not associated with an increased live birth rate or clinical pregnancy rate. Variation in the types of antioxidants given meant that we could not assess whether one antioxidant was better than another. There did not appear to be any association of antioxidants with adverse effects for women, but data for these outcomes were limited,” the authors concluded.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, The Cochrane Library


 
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