Healthy eggs have a greater chance of resulting in a successful, full term pregnancy. With age, egg quality starts to decline, but there are many ways to combat this. Here are three nutrients that do just that.
Myoinositol is beneficial for many cell functions. Specifically for fertility, it plays a role in egg maturation, fertilization and embryo development. It does this by protecting DNA, stabilizing cell structure and regulating calcium channels in the cells. Research has shown that high quality eggs and embryos with healthy development both had higher levels of myoinositol in the follicular fluid (fluid surrounding the developing egg) compared to lower quality eggs. It has also shown a positive correlation between myoinositol levels and fertilization rates. In IVF studies that looked at older women who had either failed IVF, had lower quality eggs or had PCOS, myoinositol supplementation created more high quality eggs, increased the number of eggs recovered and embryo’s transferred, and reduced the number of immature eggs.
Most of us think of melatonin as a sleep aid, but it also helps prevent cell damage by acting as a strong free radical quencher and by stimulating antioxidant production. In fertility studies, matured eggs had higher levels of melatonin compared to immature eggs, and women with fertility challenges had lower melatonin levels in follicular fluid. Supplementation increases the levels in follicular fluid, supports egg development, and decreases oxidative stress. Additionally, IVF studies have shown improved egg and embryo quality, increased fertilization rate and implantation rate with supplementation.
This is a favourite because it improves both male and female fertility! With age, eggs are more likely to have lower performing mitochondria. Mitochondria are like little engines in cells that make energy we can use, and when they don’t work properly and make less energy, eggs don’t develop as well and are lower quality. CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that is involved in the energy making process in mitochondira. With age we also make less CoQ10, and lower levels are associated with diminished ovarian reserve (low number of eggs) and premature ovarian failure (early menopause). The good news is that studies have shown CoQ10 supplementation significantly boosts mitochondrial function, improves ovulation rates, protects egg reserve, and increases egg quality.
Talk to your local naturopathic provider to see if these supplements are right for you.
Written by: Faaria Karim ND USA (BC license pending)
Ben-muir, Assaf et al. Aging Cell. 2015 Oct; 14(5): 887-895
Giovanni Vitale, Salvatore et al. Int J Endocrinol 2016; 2016: 4987436.