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Pills that don’t help women conceive

Monday August 5th, 2013

Women who are struggling to become pregnant gain nothing by taking anti-oxidant vitamin pills, researchers warned today.

None of the evidence claimed in support of the treatments is "high quality", according to a new analysis.

Women are advised to take supplements such as folic acid when seeking to become pregnant for the health of the baby. But other vitamins have anti-oxidant properties and some studies have tested whether this helps women conceive.

Researchers said there was also limited information about potential harm from women taking large quantities of vitamins and dietary supplements.

The findings are reported by the Cochrane Library.

Researcher Marian Showell, an obstetrician at the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, studied the findings of 28 trials involving more than 3,500 women using fertility clinics.

Just 14 of the studies sought to assess adverse affects - but this showed no evidence of problems caused by supplements.

Ms Showell said: "We could not assess whether one antioxidant was better than another."

Antioxidants for female subfertility. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 5 August 2013, Issue 7; doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007807.pub2. [abstract]

Tags: Australia | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Diet & Food | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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