Fertility and diet are popular topics today, and during the cold winter months, they can be an especially hot topic (think soup !!!). Can eating certain foods boost your fertility ? They certainly won’t hurt, and especially if there is an underlying endocrine disturbance they can certainly help !!
Your overall diet does matter. Researchers have found that unhealthy eating habits can harm fertility. There’s even stronger evidence that your weight impacts your fertility (both underweight or overweight can have bad effects).
So, will a particular food “cure” your infertility ? No. There is no single food that does that, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering the so-called fertility superfoods. Certain nutrients play a vital role in the reproductive system – and what we eat is an important way to get those nutrients. Eating nutrient-rich foods is usually safer than concentrated supplements. The exception to this is with folic acid, which studies have proven to be a very important addition when you’re trying to conceive.
But, we should keep in mind that there is a preponderance of evidence showing that certain food types or classes of nutrients can affect fertility. Some of the fertility superfoods on this list fall into that category. Overall good nutrition leads to good health. Good overall health can (sometimes) protect your fertility.
Let’s check out some special fertility foods:
Sunflower seeds and walnuts, the extracts, and the butters are excellent sources of vitamin E. Supplementation with vitamin E has been shown to boost male fertility.
Specifically, it’s been shown to boost sperm motility, improve sperm counts, and improve DNA fragmentation. Sunflowers are also a great source of many other fertility friendly nutrients.
One ounce will give you:
• 49% of the recommended daily value of vitamin E
• 16% of your daily folate needs
• 31% of your daily recommended value of selenium
• 10% of your daily recommended value of zinc
• Good source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
Fresh grapefruit and orange juice.
Grapefruit juice and orange juice are very high in the polyamine putrescine, which may improve semen health. Putrescine may also improve egg health. In one study, older female rats were given water rich in putrescine in the time just before and up to ovulation. The rate of chromosomal defects in the ovulated eggs decreased by more than 50 percent ! It may be that putrescine helps both egg and sperm cells maintain their chromosomal integrity. The boost in vitamin C from these juices may also help. Low vitamin C levels may negatively affect female hormonal balance.
Mature cheeses like cheddar and parmesan. Mature cheeses are high in putrescine, and like grapefruits, they are thought to improve both egg health and sperm health, especially in women over 35 and older men.
Full-fat yogurt and ice cream. Full-fat dairy products, like whole milk, fullfat yogurt, ice cream, cream cheese, and other cheese. A Harvard study found that women who ate full-fat dairy products were less likely to experience ovulation problems than women who ate primarily low-fat dairy products.
Cow Liver, is high in many nutrients that are vital to reproductive health.
One serving of cow liver (68 grams) contains:
• 431% of the daily value of vitamin A
• 800% of the recommended value of vitamin B12
• 137% of your daily value of riboflavin, another important B vitamin
• 43% of your daily value of folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid)
• 35% of your daily value of selenium
• 290 mg of choline (Choline may reduce the risk of birth defects.)
• 24% of your daily value of zinc, a mineral important for semen health
• Naturally high in coenzyme Q10, which may boost egg quality and sperm motility
Lentils and beans, (especially black beans)are a good source of protein, and research has found that women who get more of their protein from plant-based sources instead of animal sources are less likely to experience ovulation problems.
Lentils contain high levels of the polyamine spermidine, which may help sperm fertilize the egg. Interestingly, research has found that spermidine levels are markedly lower in the seminal ejaculate of men experiencing low sperm counts when compared to men with healthier semen. Lentils and beans are also a good source of folate and fiber.
Remember, there is no cure all and the most important thing is to have a balanced diet with healthy portion sizes. Avoid processed foods as much as reasonably possible and be careful with your cookware. Non-stick can have carcinogens, and the utensils can melt into your food. Avoid plasticware and go with glass containers as much as possible.
Until next time, stay warm and take good care of yourselves, both physically and emotionally.
LA 차병원 난임센터장 조슈아 J. 버거 박사가 선정한 이달의 건강 주제 : 난임에 도움을 주는 음식
체중이 난임에 영향을 미친다는 사실은 이제 상식처럼 자리 잡고 있다. 최근에는 건강하지 못한 식습관이 임신에 해롭다는 연구 결과가 나와 식습관도 점차 중요해지고 있다.
특정 음식을 먹으면 가임력이 증가할까 ?
특정 음식이 난임을 ‘치료’해주지는 않지만, 특정 영양소를 다량 함유한 이른바 ‘난임 슈퍼푸드’는 임신에 도움을 준다. 특정 영양소는 생식계통에 중요한 역할을 하는데, 이를 보충제로 섭취하는 것보다 음식을 통해 흡수하는 것이 좋다.
해바라기 씨와 호두
해바라기 씨와 호두 추출물 또는 버터에 함유된 비타민 E는 정자의 운동성을 높이고, 정자 수를 늘리며 DNA 손상을 개선한다.
포도 주스와 오렌지 주스
착즙 주스에 함유된 폴리아민과 푸트레신은 남성의 정액과 여성의 난자를 더욱 건강하게 만든다. 난자 결함 비율을 50% 감소시키며, 난자와 정자 세포가 염색체의 완전성을 유지하는데 도움을 줄 뿐 아니라 여성호르몬 균형에 좋은 영향을 준다.
파르메산 치즈나 체더 치즈와 같이 잘 숙성된 치즈는 푸트레신이 풍부해 난자와 정자가 건강해지는 데 도움을 준다. 특히 35세 이상의 여성과 남성에게 좋다.
유지방 요거트와 아이스크림
하버드대 연구진에 따르면 성분 조정을 하지 않은 유제품을 꾸준히 섭취한 여성은 그렇지 않은 여성보다 배란 문제가 덜한 것으로 밝혀졌다.
1회 권장량이 68g인 쇠간은 생식계통에 도움을 주는 필수 영양 성분이 다량 함유돼 있다. 정자와 난자의 선천적 결함 위험을 줄여줄 뿐만 아니라 정액 건강에 중요한 성분도 들어 있다. 난자의 품질과 정자의 운동성도 향상시킨다.
단백질의 좋은 공급원인 콩류를 많이 섭취할 경우, 배란에 문제가 발생할 가능성이 적다. 스퍼미딘이 풍부해 정액의 수가 적은 남성에게 도움을 줄 수 있다.
한 가지 식품이 난임 치료제로 작용하는 것이 아니라 균형 잡힌 식단을 유지해 건강한 임신을 계획해야 한다는 사실 ! 또 발암물질이 검출될 수 있는 가공식품 섭취와 플라스틱 재질의 조리 기구는 가급적 피하고 유리 용기를 사용하자.
조슈아 J. 버거 박사
UCLA에서 진행한 식이요법과 비만 관련 연구를 토대로 난임 치료
LA 차병원 난임센터장 | chaivf.com
PROFILE Joshua J. Berger, MD, PhD, FACOG serves as the Medical Director of CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles, California. Prior to his role as a fertility expert, Dr. Berger was a researcher involved with diet and obesity at UCLA who has trained athletes from around the world. He brings that unique knowledge to CHA in Los Angeles, California where elite athletes, actors/actresses and celebrities come for their care.