-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For women who are trying to
get pregnant, there is no evidence that taking antioxidant
supplements will improve their chances, a new review shows.
Researchers analyzed data from 28 clinical trials that included
a total of 3,548 women attending fertility clinics. Women who took
antioxidant supplements were no more likely to become pregnant than
those who took an inactive placebo or received standard treatment,
including folic acid.
The findings were published Aug. 5 in
The Cochrane Library.
"There is no evidence in this review that suggests taking an antioxidant is beneficial for women who are trying to conceive," lead researcher Marian Showell, who works in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand, said in a journal news release.
Showell's team also found only limited information about
potential dangers associated with taking antioxidant supplements,
such as miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Only 14 of the 28 trials
looked at harmful effects. They found that the risk was no higher
in women taking antioxidants than in those who received a placebo
or standard treatment.
Overall, the quality of the clinical trials was low or very low
and the number of different antioxidants tested in the trials made
it difficult to make comparisons, according to the researchers.
"We could not assess whether one antioxidant was better than another," Showell said.
About one-quarter of couples who want to have a baby have
difficulty conceiving, the authors noted in the news release. Women
undergoing fertility treatment often take dietary supplements,
including antioxidants, to try to boost their odds of becoming
pregnant. But many antioxidant supplements are unregulated and
there is limited evidence on their safety and effects, the
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development has more about
fertility and infertility.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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