According to an early research, Antioxidants may help improve male fertility.
The research found that , a couple was more likely to have a pregnancy or live birth if the man took certain vitamins or other antioxidants.
How the Research was conducted:
Researchers from The Cochrane Library looked at trials of more than 1,000 couples at fertility clinics where most of the men had low sperm counts or low sperm motility.
Male subfertility – where a man struggles to get his partner pregnant – affects one in 12 UK men.
Some clinics advocate the use of antioxidants, which are natural and synthetic chemicals, including certain vitamins and minerals.
The research findings are considered too initial to consider its findings conclusive.
Why Antioxidants are prescribed:
The use of antioxidants is based on the theory that free radicals – or highly reactive atoms with an odd number of electrons – can cause damage to the DNA in sperm, which is vital for creating an embryo. Unhindered activity of these free radicals, thus could result in lowered sperm counts and an impaired ability to fertilize eggs.
What is the response among scientist community?
Although they are saying the research is encouraging, but people should not try this on their own. A noted researcher said that it was important to note that antioxidant therapy would be unlikely to increase the numbers of sperm men produce and could not therefore help with all cases of male infertility.
Overall, the findings of the studies in this area, are a mixed bag, with supporters and critics of the effectiveness of anti-oxidants in this area. In the said study:
• Out of 214 couples, 20 live births occurred where men took antioxidants. This is nearly 10 couples out of hundred showed results with Anti-oxidant prescribed by the doctor. Men taking oral antioxidants had an associated statistically significant increase in live birth rate when compared with the men taking the control. The births were reported in three separate studies.
• Out of 964 couples, 96 pregnancies occurred. Antioxidant use was associated with a statistically significant increased pregnancy rate compared to control. The pregnancies were reported in 15 separate studies.
The trials also explored the use of many different types of oral antioxidants, including vitamin E, L-carnitine, zinc and magnesium.
Lead researcher, Marian Showell from the University of Auckland in New Zealand said taking an oral antioxidant supplement may increase a couple’s chance of conceiving when undergoing fertility treatment:
NOTE: Men who think antioxidant therapy may help them should consult their doctor and only take the therapy if they are advised to do so. The post is not a prescription.