In a nutshell
This study investigated the effect of micronutrient supplementation (MNS) on female fertility. They found that MNS may improve female fertility.
Infertility is an increasingly common problem worldwide. In many cases, the cause of infertility cannot be explained. Factors like diet may play a role in unexplained infertility (UI). One aspect of diet is micronutrients (MN). MNs do not supply the body with energy. They include vitamins and minerals. They are required for various processes in the body. Some MNs also reduced oxidative stress (OS). OS can lead to DNA damage and reduce fertility. Folic acid (FA) is an example of an MN. It makes folate which is particularly important in pregnancy.
The role of MNs in female fertility is unclear. Some evidence suggests that certain MNs are important in fertility. Iron (IR), zinc (ZC) and selenium (SL) may be important. Some studies suggest that women with UI may have low levels of MN. It is unclear if MN supplementation (MNS) may improve female fertility.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed published data on MNS. The authors reviewed data in women trying to conceive. This included women with no fertility issues (normal). Women undergoing infertility treatment were also included.
2 studies were conducted in normal women. In both studies, FA was taken while trying to conceive. FA supplementation was associated with a slight increase in fertility.
Most infertile women present with low folate and vitamin B12 levels. Another study identified lower levels of IR, ZC and SL levels have been identified in infertile patients. MNS may help reduce OS. MNS improved fertility outcomes in women over 39. Another study suggested MNS improves embryo quality in women over 35. Vitamin E improved endometrial thickness in women with UI. Several studies report that MNS has no effect on female fertility. The reported rates of side effects with MNS were low.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that micronutrient supplementation may improve female fertility.
The fine print
This was a review of multiple studies. The number of studies was relatively small. Many of them were not controlled trials.
If you have any concerns regarding infertility and micronutrient supplementation please consult with your physician.
Published By :
Clinical medicine insights. Women’s health
May 02, 2019