• Infertility occurs in 5-10% of couples and it is accepted that one third is due to female causes, one third male causes and one third combined causes2,3
• Subfertility is similar to infertility, however, with subfertility there is no specific reason why a pregnancy cannot occur and therefore optimising health has the potential to allow a successful pregnancy
• Factors which can affect both male and female fertility include: stress, irregular sleep patterns, smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental toxins, caffeine and recreational drugs such as marijuana and food sensitivities (including non-coeliac gluten sensitivity)
• Interruption to hormonal control, which affects the ability to produce adequate sperm, ovulate or maintain pregnancy, can be influenced by a number of factors, including adrenal and thyroid function, gut and liver health, mitochondrial function and oxidative stress
• Preconception is an important time, during which both prospective parents can prepare their bodies by ensuring good nutrition to assist fertility and conception. An anti-inflammatory diet is associated with optimal fertility (lots of vegetables, healthy fats, low in sugar and inflammatory fats)
• Specific nutrients to support female fertility and pregnancy include: essential fatty acids, antioxidants, B vitamins and vitamin D and trace minerals. The government recommends vitamin D and folate are taken for three months pre-conceptually. We would recommend an all-round good quality multivitamin and mineral that includes folate and vitamin D, plus other nutrients and that has been formulated specifically for pregnancy.
Category: Nutrition: the role of nutrition during preconception and pregnancy
Relevant Cytoplan products
Pregna-Plan – A comprehensive multivitamin and mineral suitable for preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Two tablets contain the full range of B vitamins including 400ug; methylfolate, (folic acid) essential for nerve and cognitive development and for the prevention of spina bifida.
Omega 3 Vegan – An omega-3 supplement isolated from algae providing a higher ratio of DHA to EPA than that of fish oils. DHA is an important fatty acid for cognitive and visual development.
Acidophilus Plus – A live bacteria supplement containing 8 strains of bacteria as well as 35mg of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), in capsule form.
Vitamin D3 – 62.5ug (2500IU) and also as drops which can be added to water, 2 drops = 5ug (200IU)
Methylfolate (400ug) – Folate in the active form as methylfolate. In specific cases where there is a high risk of neural tube defects the G.P. may recommend additional methylfolate
Phytoshield – Phytonutrient and antioxidant supplement containing a variety of flavonoids and carotenoids. Can be used in the preconception period
Cyto-Renew– Phytonutrient and antioxidant complex including CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. Can be used in the preconception period.
TAG the role of nutrition during preconception and pregnancy
- Murray, M. and Pizzorno, J. (2013) Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4thEd.
- Wagenmaker, E. R. et al. (2009) ‘Psychosocial Stress Inhibits Amplitude of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Pulses Independent of Cortisol Action on the Type II Glucocorticoid Receptor’, Endocrinology, 150(2), pp762–769.
- Kirby, E.D. et al. (2009) ‘Stress Increases Putative Gonadotropin Inhibitory Hormone and Decreases Luteinizing Hormone in Male Rats’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(27), pp11324–11329.
- Poppe, K. et al (2004) ‘Thyroid Dysfunction and Autoimmunity in Infertile Women’, Thyroid, 12(11), pp997-1001.
- Baker, S.M. et al. (2008) Textbook of functional medicine (2008). Institute for Functional Medicine. Elsevier.
- Seddigheh, E., et al. (2013) ‘Physical Activity and Body Mass Index among Women Who Have Experienced Infertility’, Archives of Medical Science, 9(3), pp499–505.
- Song, W.H., et al. (2014) ‘Regulation of Mitochondrial Genome Inheritance by Autophagy and Ubiquitin-Proteasome System: Implications for Health, Fitness, and Fertility’, BioMed Research International, 981867, pp1-16.
- Cassina, A. et al. (2015) ‘Defective Human Sperm Cells Are Associated with Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidant Production’, Biology of Reproduction, 95(5), 119 pp1–10
- Amaral, A. et al. (2013) ‘Mitochondria functionality and sperm quality’, Reproduction 146(5) pp163-74.
- Ramalho-Santos, J. et al. (2009) ‘Mitochondrial functionality in reproduction: from gonads and gametes to embryos and embryonic stem cells’, Human Reproduction,15(5), pp553–572.
- Suleiman, S.A. et al. (1996) ‘Lipid peroxidation and human sperm motility: protective role of vitamin E’, J Androl, 17(5), pp530-7.
- Rahman, M.M. et al. (2014) ‘Experimental reduction in dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids depresses sperm competitiveness’, Biology Letters, 10(9).
- Wathes, D.C. et al. (2007) ‘Polyunsaturated fatty acids in male and female reproduction’, Biol Reprod, 77(2), pp190-201.
- Bilska, A. and Wlodek l. (2005) ‘Lipoic Acid: The Drug of the Future?’, Pharmacol Rep, 57(5), pp570-577.
- Azaïs-Braesco, V. and Pascal, G. (2000) ‘Vitamin A in pregnancy: requirements and safety limits’, Am J Clin Nutr, 71(5), pp1325s-1333s
- Luck, M.R. et al. (1995) ‘Ascorbic Acid and Fertility. Biol’, Reprod, 52(2), pp262-266.
- Oseiki, H. (2009) ‘The Nutrient Bible’ 8th Ed Queensland Australia. Bio Concepts Publishing Australia.
- Favier, A. (1992) ‘The Role of Zinc in reproduction: hormonal mechanisms’, Biol Trace Elem Res, 32, pp363-382.
- Ebisch, I.M. et al. (2007) ‘The importance of folate, zinc and antioxidants in the pathogenesis and prevention of subfertility’, Hum Reprod Update, 13(2), pp163-174.
- Bedwal, R.S. and Bahuguna, A. (1994) ‘Zinc, copper and selenium in reproduction’, Experientia 50 (7) pp626-640.
- Nile, S.H. et al. (2017) ‘Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and enzyme inhibitory activity of natural plant flavonoids and their synthesized derivatives’, J Biochem Mol Toxicol, 32:e22002.
- Cardona F. et al (2013) ‘Benefits of polyphenols on gut microbiota and implications in human health’,J Nutr Biochem, 24(8), pp1415-22
- Nelson, D.B. et al. (2016) ‘The role of the bacterial microbiota on reproductive and pregnancy health’, Anaerobe, 42, pp67-73.
- Záhumenský, J. et al. (2017) ‘The importance of maternal microbiome in pregnancy’, Ceska Gynekol, 82(3), pp211-217.
- Koleva, P.T. et al. (2015) ‘Microbial programming of health and disease starts during foetal life’, Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today, 105(4), pp265-77.
- Barthow, C. et al. (2016) ‘The Probiotics in Pregnancy Study (PiP Study): Rationale and Design of a Double-Blind Randomised Controlled Trial to Improve Maternal Health during Pregnancy and Prevent Infant Eczema and Allergy’, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 16, pp133.
- Sohn, K. and Underwood, M.A. (2017) ‘Prenatal and postnatal administration of prebiotics and probiotics’, Semin Fetal Neonatal Med, 22(5), pp284-289.
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