by Alison Canavan
‘Ask Alison’ with evoke.ie 01/05/2014
Link to full article – http://evoke.ie/evoke/ask-alison-practical-parenting-with-alison-canavan-8
Parenting question of the week – My husband and I want to do everything we can to help our fertility naturally. Have you come across any information on this?
To find out more about this issue I spoke to Mark Whitney, the CEO of Pillar Healthcare, who said that over the past 100 years, dramatic changes in our everyday environment have led to declining fertility rates in most western countries.
The rate of the decline has led the United Nations and World Health Organisation to address the issue.
Pillar Healthcare is based here, and produces a leading nutritional supplement called ReproMed, which is aimed at improving fertility in both men and women.
According to Mark, your fertility status is always moving and, in a relatively short space of time, changes in our diet and lifestyle can have a significant impact on our fertility.
The following are a few key changes that both you and your husband can make — if you haven’t already done so.
The first is, if you smoke, quit. Smoking can impair both male and female fertility.
It affects how receptive the uterus is to the egg, and in men, it can reduce sperm production and damage the DNA.
Experts strongly suggest quitting smoking before getting pregnant and also warn mums to-be that smoking whilst pregnant can also increase the risk of having a miscarriage.
At Pillar, this concept is extended to what the company calls toxic load. The basic idea is that our bodies are adept at processing toxins, but sometimes the proverbial toxic bin can overflow and have significant impact on health and fertility. Pillar advises being wary of pollution, household cleaning products, cigarette smoke, chemical beauty products and processed food… which brings me to the next topic — diet and lifestyle.
Recently, scientists at Harvard University performed a study that showed making lifestyle and dietary changes could increase fertility by 80 per cent. Women who followed a combination of five or more lifestyle factors — which included changing specific aspects of their diets — experienced more than 80 per cent less relative risk of infertility due to ovulatory disorders, according to a paper published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
Most of your diet should be made up of fresh, non-processed foods to supply you with all the nutrients needed for reproductive function and healthy sperm and eggs. A deficiency of even one nutrient can compromise fertility. This also means, limiting processed foods, especially those high in sugars, salt, saturated and trans fats and artificial additives.
Declan Keane, a senior embryologist and ReproMed director, says nutritional science is making strides in studying how effective essential nutrients are at improving fertility.
Research has also indicated that taking the nutrient Co-Q-10 (visit your local healthfood shop to get advice on a suitable supplement) may help to improve egg quality in older women.
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