High-dose vitamin pills ‘could stop women conceiving’

April 11, 2011 - 0:0

Women who take high-dose vitamin pills could be reducing their chances of getting pregnant, a fertility expert has warned.

Ingesting large amounts of antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, could impair ovulation, said Nava Dekel, a professor of biology.
She and colleagues at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, drew their conclusions from a study which showed that ovaries exposed to large amounts of antioxidants were less likely to ovulate.
Antioxidants mop up molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) - 'free radicals' - which prompt inflammation and can damage cells.
But Prof Dekel showed that in mice, free radicals were “essential” to ovulation because inflammation was part of the process.
Mice whose ovaries were injected with two antioxidants, known as NAC and BHA, were significantly less likely to ovulate than those which were not. The study has been published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Prof Dekel, who was in London to give the annual Woman of the Year Lecture, said: “Antioxidants are used in the Western world in mega-doses as the fountain of youth, to keep us younger and healthier and to prevent cancer.
“But I would suggest we have to be careful in using antioxidants, especially younger women when they want to be fertile and have families.”
More work was needed to confirm if taking high doses of antioxidants had such an effect in humans, she cautioned. Later this year she hopes to run a trial in mice mimicking the effects of taking high dose vitamin pills.
(Source: Daily Telegraph)