Antioxidants in fertility: impact on male and female reproductive outcomes
Oxidative stress can be involved in the pathophysiology of subfertility. Antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress, but there is little high-quality evidence to show any benefit for infertile couples.
Volume 110, Issue 4, Pages 578–580
Roos Marthe Smits, M.D., Rebecca Mackenzie-Proctor, M.D., Kathrin Fleischer, M.D., Ph.D., Marian G. Showell, M.P.H., M.L.I.S.
A couple may be considered to have fertility problems if they have been trying to conceive for over 1 year with no success. Worldwide, the inability to have children affects 10% to 15% of all couples. Subfertility can be divided into either male or female factor, or both partners can be affected. However, for some couples the cause for subfertility cannot be identified, and this is called unexplained subfertility. It is thought that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of subfertility, and antioxidants are thought to reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress. Antioxidants are widely available and inexpensive. However, there is currently little high-quality evidence to show that taking antioxidants will provide any benefit or harm for infertile couples.