Hi everyone, welcome to the first Fertile Friday of 2016!! Today I’m going to outline five supplements to take before (and for) getting pregnant – things that are important for the pregnancy itself, and things that can help get pregnant in the first place. These are especially important for us “oldies” of 40 and over, but could be significant for everyone who is trying to conceive.
(1) A good prenatal
This probably sounds like a “duh”, but having a really high-quality prenatal is so important. There are plenty of cheap supplements and prenatals on the market, but they’re not likely to use the highest quality ingredients, nor the vitamins and minerals that will be best absorbed by the body. I wrote about the importance of methyl-folate in your prenatal here. Better prenatals will have their minerals in citrate or glycinate form, not aspartate forms (such as calcium citrate, magnesium citrate or glycinate). Chelated minerals are well-absorbed and easy on the body – so chelated iron, for example, is less likely to constipated than other forms of iron. My favorite, and what I am currently taking myself, is the Metagenics brand Wellness Essentials for Pregnancy. Not only does it have the best forms of vitamins and minerals (including methyl-folate), it also contains essential fatty acids in the form of fish oil, extra DHA and choline for healthy neurological development of the baby, and extra calcium and magnesium which is important during pregnancy. And it comes in daily packets which are so easy to take.
This may be slightly more important for us “older women”!! Antioxidants help to counter free radical damage to the cells, which is caused by oxidation. Free radical damage is unavoidable since oxidation is a natural consequence of metabolism; however – too much oxidation can damage to cells and the DNA of cells. It can also compromise the health of our eggs, which is not good when we’re trying to get pregnant. There are several vitamins that are good antioxidants such as A, C and E, and the mineral selenium. Curcumin, green tea extract and resveratrol (an extract from a herb called Japanese Knotweed) are also great. I think the best combo formula I’ve found so far is ProThrivers Flavonoid Complex – that’s the one I take and recommend.
(3) Mitochondrial support
The mitochondria are the little engines within the cell that produce ATP. ATP is our fuel; it’s what we actually use for energy. There is some evidence that shows that as we age, our cells produce less ATP; the mitochondria can become compromised. There is also some evidence that our eggs experience less mitochondrial production as time goes on – and that may be one reason why it’s harder for women over 35 (or at least 40) to conceive. Mitochondrial boosters include CoQ10, PCC, ubiquinol, NADH, NT factor. I have found a combo of CoQ10 and PQQ that I liked and I’ve started taking too.
Even though probiotics and fertility might seem completely unrelated, there is more and more evidence that gut health can impact every other aspect of health. Certainly, if there is an imbalance in the gut, Candida is more likely to take a hold, which can impact fertility. Having the right bacteria in the gut helps us to digest food, oust baddies such as Candida and Clostridia, and keep our GI system immune system and neurological system in balance. There are a gazillion probiotics on the market, so here is one that I like that comes from a reliable manufacturer.
(5) Hormone-balancing herbs
There are a few herbs that keep female hormones optimized. I put together a formula to support progesterone production (which can tank in older women), and estrogen too; I also included all the fertility-boosting herbs I knew of, including maca – so it helps to keep hormones balanced and also work to enhance fertility. There are a number of formulas created; so email me if you’d like information about our formula.
These are a few supplements that I have been taking for fertility and I think are most important. Let me know what else you are taking if you’re trying to conceive. I also think acupuncture is great too as an adjunct.
Cheers to 2016 and happy, healthy pregnancies. If you’re trying to get pregnant this year I’ll definitely be praying for you.