Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_90199

Vitamin supplements help fertility in women

30 October 2006
Appeared in BioNews 382

A Harvard Medical school study involving 18,000 women has shown that taking multivitamins, particularly folic acid, can improve chances of pregnancy in couples having difficulty conceiving.

Around 150,000 couples in the UK suffer from infertility problems due to the woman's inability to ovulate, which is about 1 in 10 of all women affected by infertility. The study, which followed nurses who hoped to become pregnant for an eight year period, showed that women who took multivitamin supplements six times a week were 40 per cent less likely to fail to ovulate than women who took none.

In the UK, women are advised to take 400 micrograms of folic acid (one of several different B vitamins) every day while trying to conceive, and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. 1000 micrograms of folic acid daily is the safe upper limit. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has proposed adding folic acid to the nutrients currently used to fortify white flour, as has happened in the US since 1988.

Dr. Jorge Chavarro who led the US study told the annual American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in New Orleans that the beneficial benefits seem to derive from folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects, 'The beneficial effect on fertility continued to increase as women consumed higher amounts of folic acid', he said. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables and liver.

Other recent research presented at the 25th annual scientific meeting of the Fertility Society of Australia has shown that daughters of people who smoke during pregnancy are more prone to reproductive health problems. The conference organiser, Professor Geoff Driscoll, said it was important the public understood that lifestyle affected fertility. He noted that starting a family younger, controlling obesity, exercising regularly and not smoking all improve chances of conceiving.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Folic acid helps fertility in women
The Daily Mail |  23 October 2006
Vitamin pills help women get pregnant
The Independent |  25 October 2006
Vitamins may help ovulation
The Times |  25 October 2006
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
12 August 2013 - by Emma Stoye 
There is no evidence to suggest taking antioxidant supplements will help infertile women become pregnant, according a review of fertility clinic trials published in The Cochrane Library...
5 December 2011 - by Dr Caroline Hirst 
Women receiving fertility treatment are more likely to become pregnant if they take multivitamin supplements, reports a UK pilot study...
3 October 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu 
Small fragments of genetic material from vegetables we eat could be altering our genes, according to a study carried out by scientists in China...
8 May 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
Increasing dietary intake of folic acid could result in more women giving birth to twins after IVF treatment, UK researchers report. The research team, based at Aberdeen University, studied the likely impact of fortifying white flour with the vitamin. It is hoped that this proposed measure...
2 February 2006 - by BioNews 
A US charity has published a report on the worldwide incidence of birth defects and genetic conditions. The March of Dimes Global Report on Birth Defects reveals that six per cent of all babies - nearly eight million infants - are born with congenital health problems each year. Over three million of...
21 May 2004 - by BioNews 
A new study confirms the need for women planning a pregnancy to take folic acid supplements, in order to reduce the risk of serious congenital conditions in their babies. A team of Irish and US researchers has found that around half the population inherit a genetic variation linked to an...
12 February 2001 - by BioNews 
A lack of folic acid in the diet could be responsible for some cases of male infertility, according to new research presented at a conference in Lyons last week. Professor Bruce Ames of the University of California told delegates at the World Life Sciences Forum that sperm counts in rats...
HAVE YOUR SAY
Log in to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.