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Antioxidant supplements may not improve fertility chances


No direct links between increased chances of pregnancy and administration of oral antioxidant supplements, according to recent published study. The available research literature is limited, including the potential adverse events related to oral antioxidants.


The study has been published in The Cochrane Library.


Fertility problems are common among 25% of women and women undergoing fertility treatment often take antioxidants as dietary supplements to increase the chances of pregnancy. However, fertility-related benefits of antioxidants are not approved by the USFDA. Few research evidences pertaining to safety and efficacy of antioxidants are reported, so far.


In the present study, the researchers conducted meta-analysis of 28 clinical trials that involved 3, 548 women who underwent fertility treatment. No clinically significant increase in fertility chances among women who took antioxidant supplements including folate supplements. The results were similar to women who were treated with placebo. The results suggested that oral antioxidants did not increase the chances of pregnancy.

According to Dr. Marian Showell, researcher at department of O&G, University of Auckland, New Zealand, no significant beneficial evidences were observed among antioxidant-treated women who are trying to have a baby. Dr. Marian is the study guide of the present study.


Among the participants, only 14 women reported certain adverse events such as ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. No statistically significant difference in adverse events between the placebo and standard treatment groups.

The meta-analysis observed that the quality of clinical trials were either low or even very low. Different antioxidants were tested in the clinical trials that complicated the comparison and assessment of benefits, the study guide wrote in the publication.

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