Couples already know that healthy living increases the chances of conceiving a baby. A new review, of more than 30 studies, suggests that couples, struggling to become pregnant, may increase their chances if the man ramps up his intake of antioxidants.
Subfertility is surprisingly common among the male population. It affects five percent of men and causes half of all cases of delayed conception. Most healthy men, who suffer from subfertility, are dealing with oxidative stress, which is caused by free radicals and results in poor quality sperm and lowered sperm count.
Antioxidants like Vitamin E and zinc help to stabilize free radicals and improve sperm cell function.
Marian Showell, and her team at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, reviewed 34 studies involving 3,000 couples. They found that, in 15 of the studies, a couples chance of conceiving was increase four times if the male consumed antioxidants.
“Oral supplementation with antioxidants may go some way to improve a couple’s chance of conception,” said Showell.
But, there are still a lot of unknowns. The sample size of live births that are credited to the use of antioxidants, is very small and it has not been determined which antioxidants will help and how much.
According to Dr. Mark Sigman of Brown University in Providence, R.I., “There is no evidence that antioxidants cause harm, but since we also don’t know which antioxidants or doses are beneficial – and none have FDA approval for infertility – consumers are left with purchasing these based on very limited data.”
If you are interested in trying antioxidants to boost fertility, you may want to increase your consumption of antioxidant rich foods, before you jump in and buy a lot of expensive supplements. Many fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and other nutrients. – Jen R, Staff Writer
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