High quality food is always the best source of nutrients. Supplements can be useful in fine tuning a healthy diet and providing extra support for fertility. Supplementation is individual, depending on your diet, lifestyle, heredity and health goals.
The Nurses’ Health Study found that women who took a multivitamin mineral supplement at least six days a week had a higher fertility rate. Prenatal multivitamin mineral supplements are generally recommended for women trying to conceive. They contain 0.4 to 1.0 mg of folic acid, a B vitamin that is involved in central nervous system development of the early fetus. Some excellent brands are New Chapter, SISU, Natural Factors, and Progressive.
A high iron intake of at least 40 gm/day is associated with increased fertility. The current recommended daily intake (RDI) for iron is 13 gm/day for women of childbearing age. Most prenatal supplements contain a highly absorbable form of iron.
Iron in Foods
High iron foods include naturally dried fruit, chickpeas, adzuki beans, lentils, quinoa, kale, broccoli, molasses and organic red meats. You can boost your intake of dietary iron by using iron fortified foods such as enriched grain products (for example a high fiber enriched Bran cereal with a low GI).
Absorption of Iron
Help you body absorb iron by eating vitamin C rich foods at the same time as vegetable sources of iron. Use foods that are leavened, sprouted, soaked, fermented and roasted to increase the bioavailability of the iron. Use cast iron and stainless steel cookware.
Note: Supplements for men should not contain extra iron because studies have shown a link between supplemental iron intake and heart disease in men.
Selenium 200 mcg/day
Selenium is a trace mineral that protects cells from oxidative damage. It is also needed for iodine metabolism and a healthy thyroid. Selenium is found widely in plant foods, depending on the quality of the soil. Brazil nuts, eggs and oatmeal are some of the best sources of selenium in the diet. The recommended daily intake is 55 mcg/day. Selenium is often found as part of an antioxidant formula.
B12 supplementation is strongly recommended for people following a vegan diet. B12 is available through Red Star Nutritional Yeast, which can be sprinkled on food, or through a supplement of 2.6 mcg/day.
Vitamin D – 1000 IU/day
Recent research links Vitamin D to cancer prevention and a supplement of 1000IU/day is recommended for all adults.
Fertility Diet Recommendations:
Acubalance Fertility Diet Supplement Protocol
- Prenatal Multivitamin/mineral
- Folic Acid 1mg/day
- CoQ10 100mg/day (if over 35 yrs)
- Greens: wheat grass 2 shots/day, or, Chlorella 3000mg/day
- Omega-3 2000mg/day
- Vitamin D 1000 IU/day
- L-trepeine & TAPS day 1-14 of cycle
- Multivitamin/mineral (Iron Free)
- Omega-3 2000mg/day
- Vitamin D 1000 IU/day
- Zinc 30mg/day,
- CoQ10 60 mg/day
Quality of Supplements
A good quality supplement is well-balanced, highly absorbable and free of contaminants or artificial ingredients. The best supplements available to date are organic food based supplements such as those developed by New Chapter and Progressive. They are highly absorbable and include a probiotic supplement that enhances absorption and digestibility. They have an excellent prenatal multivitamin/mineral supplement for women and a one-a-day without iron for men. Other excellent supplements are made by SISU, Natural Factors and Nordic Naturals.
What does fish oil do?
The best fish oil (omega-3) supplement is one that uses anchovies and sardines. Oil from fish contains eicosapenaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); both are omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory activity. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help to balance the over abundance of omega-6 fatty acids found in most of our diets. When these two groups of fatty acids are out of balance, the body releases chemicals that promote inflammation. People appear to produce more of these inflammatory chemicals when experiencing psychological stress. With a fatty acid imbalance, inflammatory response to stress appears to be amplified. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances produced within the body that regulate dilation of blood vessels, inflammatory response, and other critical processes. Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for prostaglandin formation. EPA and DHA also modulate immune function, perhaps as a result of their effect on prostaglandin production.