Free Radicals, Antioxidant Supplements, and Fertility

Published: Oct 11, 2020 | Revised: Mar 13, 2022
Written by: Marce Ferreira

Free Radicals, Antioxidant Supplements, and Fertility

In our contemporary society we are exposed daily to many potentially fertility-harming substances, such as so-called free radicals and other toxins, like pesticides, alcohol, and air pollutants, just to mention some of many examples.

Free radicals can be found in our food and drinks, our medicines, and in the air we breathe. They are needed by our bodies for proper physiological function, but an excess of free radicals can lead to so-called oxidative stress and a range of illnesses, which may impact female and male fertility negatively and can cause infertility or miscarriages, fetal death, abnormal fetus development, low egg quality, abnormal sperm, and such.

Some factors that can increase oxidative stress are toxins such as bisphenol-A, parabens, phthalates, herbicides and pesticides, aging, stress, overweight and obesity, malnutrition, not enough exercise, excess caffeine, and diabetes, to name a few examples.

Food supplements, in this case antioxidant supplements, can help to counteract the negative impact of oxidative stress and boost fertility. Some well-known chemically produced supplements are vitamins C, E, and B-complex, coenzyme Q10, melatonin and a range of minerals (for instance, selenium, zinc, copper, manganese, and chromium), but there are also many naturally produced herbal antioxidant supplements available for purchase.

Of course, we don’t need to rely on supplements only; a healthy diet with products that contain plenty of antioxidants is advised. Think of fruits or vegetables like beans, cranberries, peaches, raspberries, red grapes, strawberries, figs, cherries, pears, guava, oranges, apricots, artichokes, orange vegetables, mango, papaya, and tomatoes, to name a non-exhaustive list of foods with high levels of antioxidants.

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