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Article

Dietary Supplements for Female Infertility: A Critical Review of Their Composition

1
Department of Women and Children’s Health, University of Padua, 35122 Padua, Italy
2
Unit of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Madonna della Navicella Hospital, Chioggia, 30015 Venice, Italy
3
Unit of Andrology and Reproductive Medicine & Centre for Male Gamete Cryopreservation, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, 35128 Padova, Italy
4
Department of Medicine, Clinical Nutrition Unit University of Padova, 35128 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Sadia Afrin
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3552; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103552
Received: 6 September 2021 / Accepted: 6 October 2021 / Published: 11 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition in Women)
Infertility is the condition of about 15% of couples that cannot get a conception after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse. In females, the reduced reproductive capacity underlies the most varied causes. Dietary supplements (DS) might be used to improve the pregnancy rate and a wide range of DS are proposed today to support female fertility. Although many authors demonstrated the positive effect of some of these products, the real efficacy of this approach is still debated. In order to evaluate the potential efficacy of DS for female infertility, we analysed the products marketed in Italy, using an original approach. A review of literature was performed to evaluate the effect of nutraceuticals on various female reproductive outcomes and to detect the minimal effective daily dose (mED) able to improve at least one of these. Thereafter, we conceived a formula to classify the expected efficacy of each DS. Each DS was scored and included into three classes of expected efficacy: higher, lower, and none. Ten out of 24 supplements (41.7%) resulted in the higher and 8 (34.3%) in the lower efficacy group, the remaining 6 DS (25.0%) were expected to have no efficacy. DS marketed in Italy are usually blends of many substances that are frequently employed at a negligible dose or without any evidence of efficacy. These findings raise serious doubt about the potential effectiveness of most commercial DS for female infertility. View Full-Text
Keywords: fertility; dietary supplements; female reproduction; oocyte quality; pregnancy rates; spontaneous ovulation; assisted reproduction techniques fertility; dietary supplements; female reproduction; oocyte quality; pregnancy rates; spontaneous ovulation; assisted reproduction techniques
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vitagliano, A.; Petre, G.C.; Francini-Pesenti, F.; De Toni, L.; Di Nisio, A.; Grande, G.; Foresta, C.; Garolla, A. Dietary Supplements for Female Infertility: A Critical Review of Their Composition. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3552. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103552

AMA Style

Vitagliano A, Petre GC, Francini-Pesenti F, De Toni L, Di Nisio A, Grande G, Foresta C, Garolla A. Dietary Supplements for Female Infertility: A Critical Review of Their Composition. Nutrients. 2021; 13(10):3552. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103552

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vitagliano, Amerigo, Gabriel C. Petre, Francesco Francini-Pesenti, Luca De Toni, Andrea Di Nisio, Giuseppe Grande, Carlo Foresta, and Andrea Garolla. 2021. "Dietary Supplements for Female Infertility: A Critical Review of Their Composition" Nutrients 13, no. 10: 3552. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103552

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