Are antioxidants useful during the IVF?

After the recent studies in California under the guidance of Andy Virobeka it turned out that antioxidants (substances that slow down an oxidation of organic compounds) significantly affect the quality of sperm. Scientists have discovered that the female partners of men accepting antioxidants the get pregnant more often and give live births more often as well. The beneficial effect of antioxidants proved to be more significant for people using reproductive technology: according to the report, antioxidants increase the pregnancy rate to 4 times and the frequency of live births to 5 times. It is also known that antioxidants neutralize the oxidative stress, which can seriously damage the sperm, or in extreme cases, lead to infertility.

The studies have investigated various antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, selenium, carotinoids, glutathione, zinc, folic acid, and coenzyme Q. It was found that men who had been taking these substances, had less DNA-damaged sperm than men who had not take them. Remind you that zinc is found in oysters, crabs, red meat, poultry, beans and white mushrooms, vitamin C – is in many fruits and vegetables, in large quantities in red pepper, kiwi, oranges and grapefruits, Vitamin E- is in large quantities in the nuts , seeds, olive oil and herbs; selenium – is in tuna, cod, beef, turkey, chicken, folic acid, in beef liver, leafy green vegetables, fruits, legumes.

In general, studies on the usefulness of certain microelements in food, are held quite often, and the results are not always the same. Last year, for example, a similar experiment has shown that antioxidants affect only the sperm of men in middle age, while it has no effect on young people. This can be explained by the fact that antioxidants are mainly opposed to toxic substances, which, in turn, enter the body through food, cigarette smoke, air pollution, causing the formation of the so-called free radicals. So it’s logical that with age, their number is increasing.

However, I think, antioxidants are far from being a treatment from male infertility. That's opinion on this matter of E.Virobeka, researcher who conducted the studies: "People who eat well are probably doing other healthy things...". I’d agree: there is no need to overestimate the role specifically antioxidants in improving male fertility. Everything needs a systematic approach: it is important to do sports, keep healthy diet, and have preventive procedures. Also, don’t forget that, in spite of its beneficial properties, the recommended daily dose of antioxidants is limited, and before you change your diet, you should consult your doctor and dietitian.