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Author Notes:

Elizabeth H. Ruder, 4051 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh PA, 15260 412-624-1034, eruder@pitt.edu.

We gratefully acknowledge the couples who participated in the trial; and the participating insurers Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Tufts Health Plan.

We thank Meredith M. Regan, Sc.D.; study research coordinators Allison Diamond, M.P.H.; and Rachel Neff, M.P.H.; and former REI fellow David Ryley, M.D., for their assistance.

Authors reported no conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

The work described was supported by Grants R01HD38561 and R01HD049762 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Reproductive Biology
  • Diet
  • antioxidants
  • oxidative stress
  • unexplained infertility
  • nutritional epidemiology
  • RISK

Female dietary antioxidant intake and time to pregnancy among couples treated for unexplained infertility


Journal Title:

Fertility and Sterility


Volume 101, Number 3


, Pages 759-766

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Objective: To determine whether increased antioxidant intake in women is associated with shorter time to pregnancy (TTP) among a cohort of couples being treated for unexplained infertility. Design: Secondary data analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Setting Academic medical center associated with a private infertility center. Patients Females with unexplained infertility. Interventions None. Main Outcome Measure(s): The time it took to establish a pregnancy that led to a live birth. Result(s): Mean nutrient intake exceeded the estimated average requirement (EAR) for vitamins C and E. No differences in mean intake of any of the antioxidants were noted between women who delivered a live-born infant during the study period vs. those who did not. In multivariable models, intake of β-carotene from dietary supplements was associated with shorter TTP among women with body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 (hazard ratio [HR] 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-1.53) and women <35 y (HR 1.19, 95% CI 1.01-1.41). Intake of vitamin C from dietary supplements was associated with shorter TTP among women with BMI <25 kg/m2 (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03-1.15) and women <35 y (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02-1.18). Intake of vitamin E from dietary supplements among women ≥35 y also was associated with shorter TTP (HR 1.07, 95% CI 1.01-1.13). Conclusion(s): Shorter TTP was observed among women with BMI <25 kg/m2 with increasing vitamin C, women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2 with increasing β-carotene, women <35 y with increasing β-carotene and vitamin C, and women ≥35 y with increasing vitamin E.

Copyright information:

© 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Published by Elsevier Inc.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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