Female dietary antioxidant intake and time to pregnancy among couples treated for unexplained infertility

Antioxidant intake and time to pregnancy (TTP) among couples treated for infertility was examined. Increased b-carotene, vitamin C, or vitamin E intakes are associated with shorter TTP in specific subgroups.

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Elizabeth H. Ruder, Ph.D., M.P.H., Terryl J. Hartman, Ph.D., M.P.H., Richard H. Reindollar, M.D., Marlene B. Goldman, Sc.D.

Volume 101, Issue 3, Pages 759-766, March 2014



To determine whether increased antioxidant intake in women is associated with shorter time to pregnancy (TTP) among a cohort of couples being treated for unexplained infertility.


Secondary data analysis of a randomized controlled trial.


Academic medical center associated with a private infertility center.


Females with unexplained infertility.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

The time it took to establish a pregnancy that led to a live birth.


Mean nutrient intake exceeded the estimated average requirement (EAR) for vitamins C and E. No differences in mean intake of any of the antioxidants were noted between women who delivered a live-born infant during the study period vs. those who did not. In multivariable models, intake of β-carotene from dietary supplements was associated with shorter TTP among women with body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 (hazard ratio [HR] 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09–1.53) and women <35 y (HR 1.19, 95% CI 1.01–1.41). Intake of vitamin C from dietary supplements was associated with shorter TTP among women with BMI <25 kg/m2 (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03–1.15) and women <35 y (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02–1.18). Intake of vitamin E from dietary supplements among women ≥35 y also was associated with shorter TTP (HR 1.07, 95% CI 1.01–1.13). Conclusion(s):

Shorter TTP was observed among women with BMI <25 kg/m2 with increasing vitamin C, women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2 with increasing β-carotene, women <35 y with increasing β-carotene and vitamin C, and women ≥35 y with increasing vitamin E.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(13)03261-5/fulltext

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.