Antioxidants And Infertility
In a series of fascinating studies, the amount of antioxidants within ovarian follicles have been measured and have been demonstrated to correlate with the rate at which human eggs (oocytes) fertilize. One such study found that the total antioxidant concentration in follicles was "significantly higher in fluid from follicles whose oocytes successfully fertilized" and suggested that "lower levels of TAC (total antioxidant content) predict decreased fertilization potential."
What ever method you use to conceive this is great news; simply filling your diet with high-antioxidant foods may be able to help your ovarian follicles to be richer in fertility-boosting antioxidants and give your chances of conceiving a big boost. Simply eating a diet rich in high-antioxidant foods should help tremendously; some of the highest antioxidant foods may surprise you - like red beans - who would have thought that a bean would be at the top of the list? Here is a list of the top 20 antioxidant rich foods from a recent study:
Small red bean
Red kidney bean
Red delicious apple***
Granny Smith apple***
If you are not too fond of fruits and vegetables, knowing that you can get great antioxidant content from beans and nuts is great news. Foods with three stars indicate produce that you may want to consider buying these foods organically grown. These foods are on the Environmental Working Group 2010 - dirty dozen - list of the most pesticide laden produce. The current - dirty dozen - list is available as a iPhone App. and can be downloaded from the Environmental Working Group website, and for convenience is below in descending order of pesticide contamination:
7. Bell peppers
You can ingest a wide spectrum of antioxidants as teas too, some especially high antioxidant teas are Rooibos, black tea, green tea, white tea and cinnamon teas. Even tiny amounts of herbs and spices can add a big antioxidant kick to your diet, especially oregano which is very high in antioxidants. Here is a few of the most antioxidant rich great-tasting herbs that can give your diet an extra antioxidant boost: oregano; sage; peppermint; thyme; lemon balm; marjoram; rosemary; dill; basil; tarragon; and parsley. Dark chocolate and cocoa are also antioxidant packed treats.
Simply having a greater variety and quantity of antioxidants may help your ovarian follicles to have a richer spectrum of antioxidants which may help to make your eggs more fertile boosting your chances conceiving naturally - or with IVF/ART.
This article is for purely informational purposes and in not intended to diagnose or replace medical or nutritional advice for which you should consult a physician or dietitian.
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Human Reproduction 2003 Nov;18(11):2270-4 Antioxidants and reactive oxygen species in follicular fluid of women undergoing IVF: relationship to outcome. Oyawaye et al.
Journal of agriculture and Food Chemistry. 2004 Jun 16:52(12):4026-37
Environmental Working Group web site
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