Effects ofα-lipoic acid and myo-inositol supplementation on the oocyte environment of infertile obese women: A preliminary study.
Reprod Biol. 2020 Dec ;20(4):541-546. Epub 2020 Oct 21. PMID: 33371944
Obesity is becoming pandemic and is associated with impaired reproductive potential. Oxidative stress, low-grade chronic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunctions, which characterize obesity, strongly affect oocyte environment and function. Supplementation with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds has been suggested to improve fertility. Here we evaluated the effect ofα-lipoic acid and myo-inositol supplementation on the oocyte environment of infertile obese women. Nineteen normal-weight and twenty-three obese women, infertile for non-ovarian reasons, were recruited. For two months before ovarian stimulation, all women received 400 μg/die folic acid, whereas 15obese were additionally supplemented with 800 mg α-lipoic acid, 2 g myo-inositol/die. Antioxidant capacity was measured in follicular fluid by enzymatic assay; mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content and mRNA levels of two respiratory chain subunits were analyzed in granulosa cells by Real-time PCR. Pregnancy rate was similar between normal-weight and treated obese, and lower in untreated obese patients. Supplemented women showed significantly higher antioxidant levels in follicular fluid compared to the two groups taking only folic acid. Conversely, granulosa cells mtDNA content was decreased intreated and higher in untreated obese patients compared to normal-weight women, suggesting mtDNA increases to compensate for oxidative-stress damages. Reduced expression of respiratory subunits in untreated obese may confirm mitochondria impairment. Interestingly, mtDNA levels inversely correlated to both total and metaphase II oocyte number. In this preliminary study, combined supplementation of α-lipoic acid and myo-inositol in infertile obese women was associated with amelioration in the oxidative status of the oocyte environment, possibly contributing to a higher pregnancy rate.