Submitted by Shelby D Burns Wed 01/26/2011
Sperm Antioxidant supplements may benefit couples who have difficulty conceiving naturally, according to new research in the Cochrane Library. The review provides evidence which suggests the partners of men who take antioxidant supplements are more likely to become pregnant. Male subfertility is more prevalent than a lot of people realize and affects about one in twenty men. Antioxidants contain a natural and synthetic chemical which helps reduce some types of damage to sperm cells. The trials studied were ones where the couple was going through in vitro fertilization and sperm injections. Most of the men had low sperm counts or low sperm motility. Researchers used several types of antioxidants. Studies showed that the men who took the supplements were more successful at achieving pregnancy and live birth. “When trying to conceive as part of an assisted reproductive program, it may be advisable to encourage men to take oral antioxidant supplements to improve their partners’ chances of becoming pregnant,” said lead researcher Marian Showell, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The tests were on an admittedly small group and it’s not possible to know whether the oral antiosidants, including vitamin E, L-carnitine, zinc or magnesium performed the best. “We need more head-to-comparisons to understand whether any one antioxidant is performing better than any other,” said Showell.