Increasing your intake of antioxidants can increase the chances of conception for couples struggling with infertility.
Exposure to free radicals can impact the fertility of women, making conception more difficult. In particular, increasing your intake of vitamin E, vitamin C, and lipoic acid can improve your chances of healthy egg generation, encourage embryo attachment, and assist older women in successful conception.
How Free Radicals Impact Your Chances of Conception
Free radicals build up in your body when you suffer from oxidative stress. When you are exposed to toxins, your immune system attempts to break them down. However, if you don’t have the proper intake of antioxidants to bind to the free radicals and functionally neutralize them, these free radicals will remain in your body, damaging your cells. Exposure to free radicals can impact ovum quality, resulting in insufficient attachment to the uterine wall.
Antioxidant supplements can increase everything from sperm motility to successful ovulation. In addition, a diet containing a sufficient amount of whole grains, fruits and vegetables will naturally offer high levels of antioxidants. By increasing your fiber intake and reducing your exposure to processed foods, you can have a more secure path to pregnancy.
Improve Your Fertility Chances with Changes in Diet
Recent studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill indicate that increasing your antioxidant intake can actually reverse the damage caused by toxins such as those found in alcohol and cigarette smoke.
While this study refers to women who are already pregnant and to damage done to mice exposed to environmental toxins, the message to those attempting to conceive is clear: environmental toxins are a hazard to babies in utero and to anyone attempting to conceive.
Antioxidants offer those trying to conceive a chance to increase their overall health. However, it’s important to note that there are some supplements, such as vitamin A, that can cause fetal harm if taken after conception. If you think you’re pregnant, contact your doctor immediately, let them know of your supplement program and ask for guidance.
Antioxidant Exposure and Ovulation Suppression
While fertility can certainly be impacted by an unhealthy egg or insufficient uterine wall attachment, Professor Nava Dekel demonstrates that overexposure to antioxidants may also prevent the process of successful ovulation altogether.
Working on mice, Dekel demonstrated that the ovaries of mice failed to release eggs when exposed to antioxidants. This indicates that the monthly inflammation of ovulation that helps to release eggs may be undone when exposed to high levels of vitamin C and E.
This research suggests that overexposure to even healthy antioxidants can impact your ability to successfully ovulate and thus conceive. While this research is ongoing, it does indicate that it would be wise for women attempting conception to seek a way to avoid exposing themselves to large amounts of any supplemental vitamin.
Both women and men trying to successfully conceive would do well to strive to maintain a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods rich in antioxidants. There are risks, however, in taking large doses of supplemental antioxidants.