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The Role of Vitamin E in the Treatment of Male Infertility


Infertility affects 15% of couples and in 30% of these couples, the cause of infertility is associated with aberrations found in the male partner, termed male infertility. Many cases of male infertility were previously considered idiopathic but are now being attributed to oxidative damage resulting from increased levels of reactive oxygen species. A proposed treatment for this type of infertility is oral supplementation with the antioxidant, vitamin E. This review discusses the efficacy of this type of therapy. The current evidence for vitamin E supplementation as a treatment for male infertility seems to favor a beneficial role. However, the lack of large, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. While high levels of vitamin E supplementation cannot be recommended as a treatment for male infertility at this point, further research should be pursued and infertile males encouraged to maintain adequate dietary intakes of vitamin E through diet or supplements.

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