INTRODUCTION:Idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (iOAT) is commonly encountered during the evaluation of men with infertility. Antioxidants have been utilized empirically in the treatment of iOAT based on their ability to reverse oxidative stress (OS)-induced sperm dysfunction often encountered in this patient population. METHODS:A literature search was performed using MEDLINE/PubMed, focusing on publications of antioxidant therapies for iOAT. The main objective of our review article was to report the rationale and available evidence supporting the use of antioxidants. RESULTS:Antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamins E and C, carnitines, coenzyme-Q10, N-acetylcysteine, selenium, zinc, folic acid, and lycopene have been shown to reduce OS-induced sperm damage. While rigorous scientific evidence in the form of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials is limited, recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses have reported a beneficial effect of antioxidants on semen parameters and live birth rates. CONCLUSION:Additional randomized controlled studies are required to confirm the efficacy and safety of antioxidant supplementation in the medical treatment of idiopathic male infertility as well as the dosage required to improve semen parameters, fertilization rates, and pregnancy outcomes in iOAT.
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