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

Capsule:
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.

Authors:
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

Abstract:

Objective:
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.

Design:
Secondary data analysis of a randomized controlled trial.

Setting:
Academic medical center associated with a private infertility center.

Patients:
Females with unexplained infertility.

Interventions:
None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
The time it took to establish a pregnancy that led to a live birth.

Result(s):
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.

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