SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS:
DOs AND DON'Ts
Even tough it is always best to see a dietician/naturopath for a proper customised plan, here are some guidelines to give you an idea of what supplements may interfere or support your reproductive health.
Always try to get Organic Supplements, free from additives and chemicals; otherwise you will do yourself more harm than good.
If you are trying to conceive and have experienced some difficulties, it may be worth looking at any nutritional deficiencies you may have. Even if you have a very healthy diet, nowadays the soil is not so rich in nutrients as it used to be, so supplementing your diet with natural products can be a well-worth addition.
Supplements that may damage egg and sperm, such as:
Echinacea - increases immunity and may make the body perceiving the sperm as an invader, thus attacking and destroying it. In fact the body immune system usually decrease when progesterone levels raise, in order to create a perfect environment for the new embryo, slowing the body down.
St Johns Wort (natural antidepressant) as it affect the brain chemistry, thus the hormonal balance
Ginko Bilboa as it affects the microcirculation and brains chemistry, dilating the blood vessels
High dosage of VIT C as it dries the cervical fluid, making it harder for the sperm to reach the egg. Instead Low dosage of VIT C (through supplements or food) are recommended as they increase the sperm count.
Vitamin B. When Vitamin B levels are low, the body shuts down reproductive processes to protect a potential embryo from abnormalities; it can also inhibit egg release and prevent implantation.
On the other side, correct levels of vitamin B enhance fertility.
It can be found in wheat germ, potato, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.. For more info please click here.
Probiotics. These reduce symptoms of digestive disorders such as Chrone’s, IBS, IBD. They contain the so-called "friendly bacteria" that can supposedly restore the natural balance of your gut bacteria, therefore enhancing the correct amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to function properly. To enhance your gut health, you can also eat fermented food, biolive yoghurt and limit, avoid no organic, fat free and fructose rich foods.
Folic acid may reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida, besides reducing the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and diabetes and homocystein level (which is a protein that may cause birth defects). Folic acid can be found in dark leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, nuts and seeds, etc. For more info, please click here.
Zinc, especially for men as it has a big role in testosterone production. Zinc is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining a sense of smell, keeping a healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes, and it helps to build healthy hormones. Zinc can be found in shellfish such as oysters, shrimps and haddock; egg yolk, almonds, pumpkin seeds, wholemeal and rye bread (be aware that around 80% zinc is removed from wheat during the milling process), etc. For more inform please click here.