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  • A research study proves the properties of a plant-based compound to fight infertility related to obesity

    February 19, 2015

    Researchers of the University of Oviedo have proved the properties of resveratrol to improve some metabolic disorders and the ovarian reserve in overweight women

    Left to right, Elena Díaz, Tino González, Ana Alonso and Estefanía Cabello in one of the laboratories of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

    Researchers of the University of Oviedo have proved the properties of resveratrol, a plant-based chemical substance, as potential treatment of infertility related to obesity. The results of the research team led by Doctor Celestino González (Department of Functional Biology) have been published by the prestigious journal Fertility and Sterility and show the potential usefulness of this polyphenol to fight some metabolic disorders that compromise the success of assisted reproduction. Resveratrol is a plant-based polyphenol, mainly found in grapes, whose anti-oxidant and anti-aging effects have already been proved.

    The experiments carried out with animals have shown relevant conclusions as regards the improvement of the success rate of ovarian stimulation treatments used in assisted reproduction procedures. In the case of overweight women, resveratrol would have positive effects on some metabolic disorders that are usually related to obesity, and that compromise conception, like insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism or a pro-inflammatory state. In addition, low doses of this substance may help protect the ovarian reserve, avoiding the early loss of ovarian follicles in overweight woman who go through assisted reproduction techniques.

    The prestigious journal Fertility and Sterility has published the work that confirms the qualities of polyphenol to improve the success rates of assisted reproduction treatments.

    The tests developed in the laboratory consisted in, on the one hand, infertile and obese mice, and on the other hand, mice with a normal weight and no reproductive problems. As for the second type, low doses of resveratrol increased ovarian response, which implies a higher success rate in assisted reproduction procedures.

    The link between obesity and infertility

    Overweight women usually show metabolic disorders like type II diabetes, or a chronic inflammatory state. This type of diseases have a negative impact on fertility in women, and many times imply low response to ovarian stimulation, achieving worse results in assisted reproduction treatments.

    The experiments carried out with obese and infertile mice have proved that the treatment with resveratrol has anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic effects, lowering insulin blood levels and other pro-inflammatory cytokines in adipose tissue. Likewise, it reduces the excess of androgens in blood, main responsible for ovarian failure and reproduction problems related to overweight. It is actually the first time that researchers can prove that this polyphenol has in vivo anti-hyperandrogenic effects and is therefore able to restore normal testosterone levels.

    The group used in the laboratory was made up of mice with no obesity or reproductive problems. In this case, the treatment resulted in a significant improvement of the ovarian response, collecting more oocytes, as resveratrol potentiates the effect of gonadotropins used in ovarian stimulation procedures. This combination may significantly improve the results of the stimulation treatments obtaining the highest possible number of embryos using in vitro fertilization techniques. The final conclusions of this study also include the properties of resveratrol to minimize the risks involved in the administration of high doses of hormones used in the induction of superovulation.

    Title of the article

    Effects of resveratrol on ovarian response to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in ob/ob mice

    Authors

    Estefanía Cabello, Pablo Garrido, Javier Morán, Carmen González del Rey, Plácido Llaneza, David Llaneza-Suárez, Ana Alonso, Celestino González Group of Research in Physiopathology of Aging and Fertility in women Celestino González, Abel Gayo, Lourdes Sánchez, Ignacio Arnott, Javier Morán, Pablo Garrido, Elena Díaz, María del Carmen González del Rey, Plácido Llaneza y Ana Alonso.

    Group of Research in Physiopathology of Aging and Fertility in women

    Celestino González, Abel Gayo, Lourdes Sánchez, Ignacio Arnott, Javier Morán, Pablo Garrido, Elena Díaz, María del Carmen González del Rey, Plácido Llaneza y Ana Alonso.

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