When it comes to fertility, what you consume can have a significant impact on the quality of your eggs and sperm. That's where nutraceuticals come in. Nutraceuticals are supplements derived from food sources that offer health benefits beyond their nutritional value. This blog post will explore how various nutraceuticals can reduce oxidative stress, improve egg and sperm quality, and increase mitochondrial function.
Step 1: Reduce oxidative stress
Oxidative stress is a condition where there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body's ability to neutralize them with antioxidants. Excessive oxidative stress can damage cells and tissues and contribute to various health problems, including infertility. Here are some nutraceuticals that can help reduce oxidative stress:
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant crucial to mitochondrial function. Studies have shown that supplementing with CoQ10 can improve sperm quality and increase pregnancy rates in women undergoing fertility treatments.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is another potent antioxidant that can help protect cells from oxidative stress. Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin C can improve sperm quality and reduce the risk of miscarriage in women undergoing fertility treatments.
- N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): NAC is a precursor to the antioxidant glutathione, critical in protecting cells from oxidative stress. Studies have shown that supplementing with NAC can improve sperm quality and increase pregnancy rates in women undergoing fertility treatments.
Step 2: Improve egg and sperm quality
The quality of your eggs and sperm is crucial for successful conception. Here are some nutraceuticals that can help improve egg and sperm quality:
- Myo-inositol: Myo-inositol is a type of sugar that plays a crucial role in oocyte maturation and fertilization. Studies have shown that supplementing with Myo-inositol can improve egg quality and increase pregnancy rates in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- L-carnitine: L-carnitine is an amino acid that plays a crucial role in energy metabolism. Studies have shown that supplementing with L-carnitine can improve sperm motility and morphology.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are crucial in cell membrane function. Studies have shown that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids can improve sperm quality and increase pregnancy rates in women undergoing fertility treatments.
Step 3: Increase mitochondrial function
Mitochondria are the cell's powerhouse and play a crucial role in energy production. Improving mitochondrial function can help improve fertility outcomes. Here are some nutraceuticals that can help increase mitochondrial function:
- CoQ10: As mentioned earlier, CoQ10 plays a crucial role in mitochondrial function. Supplementing with CoQ10 can help improve mitochondrial function and improve fertility outcomes.
- PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone): PQQ is a vitamin-like compound that plays a crucial role in mitochondrial biogenesis, the process by which new mitochondria are formed. Studies have shown that supplementing with PQQ can help increase mitochondrial function and improve fertility outcomes.
In conclusion, nutraceuticals can be a valuable tool in improving fertility outcomes. By reducing oxidative stress, improving egg and sperm quality, and increasing mitochondrial function, nutraceuticals can help couples achieve their dream of having a healthy baby. However, it's important to remember that supplements should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
- Kizilirmak A et al. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves oocyte and embryo quality in IVF patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2019 Feb;35(2):152-155. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2018.1528737.
- Showell MG et al. Antioxidants for male subfertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(12): CD007411. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007411.pub3.
- Singh A et al. Role of myo-inositol in improving ovarian function and fertility outcome in PCOS women. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2017 Apr-Jun;10(2):75-79. doi: 10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_122_16.
- Stanic P et al. The impact of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on human spermatozoa and the male reproductive system. J Clin Med. 2021 Mar 19;10(6):1282. doi: 10.3390/jcm10061282.
- Tremellen K et al. L-carnitine supplementation in the in vitro fertilization setting: a systematic review. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jun;30(3):136-142. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000446.
- Yang Y et al. Pyrroloquinoline quinone enhances mitochondrial biogenesis through the activation of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in human cervical cancer HeLa cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Feb 5;496(2):291-297. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.01.003.