Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


Preconception nutraceutical food supplementation can prevent oxidative and epigenetic DNA alterations induced by ovarian stimulation for IVF and increases pregnancy rates

W. Decleer 1,4, F. Comhaire 1, K. De Clerck 2, W. Van Den Berghe 2, G. De Vriendt 3, K. Osmanagaoglu 4

1 Fertility-Belgium Clinic, Weststraat, 16-18, B-9880 Aalter, Belgium;
2 Lab Protein Science, Proteomics and Epigenetic Signaling, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium;
3 Pures Ltd., Kasteelhoek 12, B-8730 Beernem, Belgium;
4 Centre for Fertility, AZ Jan Palfijn Gent, Watersportlaan 5, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.


Epigenetics, hTERT promoter, 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine, nutraceuticals, in vitro fertilisation, infertility

Published online: May 07 2020


Background: It is hypothesized that oxidative and epigenetic alterations to DNA induced by ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be associated with an increased risk of diseases and cancer in the offspring and could possibly be attenuated by preconception food supplementation.

Methods: In a prospective randomised open-label trial, 62 patients were randomly assigned to either 30 days of preconception treatment with the nutraceutical Fertility woman ® duo (Nutriphyt, Beernem, Belgium) (group 1), this nutraceutical complemented with selenomethionine (group 2), or folic acid only (group 3). Biochemical and epigenetic effects and pregnancy rates were assessed.

Results: In all 3 groups the level of DNA oxidative damage, estimated by the concentration of 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine over creatinine in early morning urine, and the concentration of homocysteine in the blood decreased after treatment. In group 2, the degree of methylation of the cancer-associated CpG2 dinucleotide of the human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) promoter region, assessed by pyrosequence in follicular cells obtained at oocyte pick-up, was 18% lower than that of group 3. The pregnancy rate, including the transfer of fresh and frozen embryos, was significantly higher in group 2 (50%) than in group 3 (6%) with the result in group 1 being intermediate (30%).

Conclusion: The results suggest that preconception food supplementation using a specific nutraceutical significantly reduces oxidative and epigenetic DNA changes to follicular cells of women treated by IVF, and may optimize gene expression in the oocytes, thus increasing the pregnancy rate per cycle of ovarian stimulation.