This study aims to ascertain whether oral administration of pharmacological doses of Vitamins C and E has any detrimental effect on reproductive fitness of female mice. We fed hybrid female mice from the first day of weaning a standard diet supplemented or not supplemented with pharmacological doses of Vitamins C and E. At the age of 28 weeks, we individually caged females with a male for the rest of their reproductive life. We performed a series of mating experiments to ascertain the number of oocytes ovulated and the potential for embryo development in vitro to the blastocyst stage and in vivo to Day 12 of gestation. The antioxidant diet decreased the frequency of litters, litter size, total number of offspring born and survival of male pups to weaning. This effect was associated with lower number of corpora lutea in the left ovary, decreased percentage of viable fetuses, and higher number of fetal resorptions in the left uterine horn when compared to the control group. The strategy of supplementing the diet with antioxidant vitamins to prevent the age associated decrease in reproductive potential should not be implemented in human beings until a safe and efficient diet is designed.
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