Around one in six pregnancies results in spontaneous abortion. Although there can be different reasons for this, scientists have found that eating a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, fish, shellfish, eggs, and grains can lower the risk by over 50 percent. This was shown in a meta-analysis from the University of Birmingham in England. Earlier research shows that selenium, a trace element that many people are deficient in, plays a particularly important role.
A new British study that is published in British Journal of Nutrition shows that getting too little vitamin D during pregnancy has a negative effect on the social development and motor skills of the toddler. Vitamin D is believed to play a role in brain development. It is vital for the pregnant mother to pay careful attention to getting enough vitamin D all year round, as our modern lifestyle with indoor activities, our frequent use of sunscreen with high sun factor, being overweight, and having dark skin contribute to the widespread deficiency of this nutrient.
Impaired sperm quality if one of the major reasons for involuntary infertility. Studies show that oxidative stress, an imbalance between harmful free radicals and protective antioxidants, causes damage to sperm cells. In a review article that is published in Reproductive Sciences, a group of researchers look closer at different molecular mechanisms and how vitamins C, E, selenium, zinc, and coenzyme Q10 plus other antioxidants protect the vulnerable sperm cells.
- and the upper safe limit makes no sense
There really is no need to have an upper safe intake limit for folic acid, and we ought to enrich flour with this nutrient to prevent children from being born with potentially disabling or life-threatening brain or spinal cord defects. This is part of the conclusion of a new study from Queen Mary University of London, and it supports an earlier study from Aarhus University in Denmark. Folic acid deficiencies, which are rather common, may lead to fatigue, poor memory, dementia, and a number of other health problems later in life. It is therefore important that we focus on this essential nutrient.
Vitamin B12 is important for the development of the brain, and young children with low levels of the nutrient are challenged when it comes to solving cognitive tests such as puzzles, letter recognition, and the ability to understand the feelings of other children. Vitamin B12-deficient children are therefore more vulnerable and generally have a more difficult start in life. Researchers have demonstrated this in a study that is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A new study links thyroid disorders to female infertility. At the same time, it is known that selenium, an essential micronutrient, is required for normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Modern diets are depleted of selenium and the question is: Could selenium supplements be a good place to begin for infertile couples before embarking on expensive IVF therapy?
Infertility affects around one in seven couples. WHO considers it a global health problem. One of the leading causes is impaired semen quality, and Danish, Norwegian, and German men have lower sperm quality than any other male populations. Impaired sperm quality may be a result of an unhealthy lifestyle with stress, tobacco, stimulants, and hormone-disrupting compounds. On the other hand, scientists from Mexico have found that supplements of zinc, selenium, Q10, and omega-3 have an effect on the number of sperm cells and their quality. Other studies show that zinc and selenium protect sperm cells and are important for testosterone levels.
Asthma is the leading disease among children and adolescents in the Western world, and the rate has been going up for the past 20 years. A new Danish study that is published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that pregnant women who take supplements of fish oil are much less likely to give birth to children that develop asthma later on. The question is how much fish oil it takes to obtain the positive effect.
According to two clinical studies, daily supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is found in fish oil, may prevent thousands of premature deliveries – before the 34th week of pregnancy. In addition, both mother and child may have other befits from the active compounds in fish oil.
Many young men have poor sperm quality and the underlying cause is often unknown. The health of sperm cells depends a lot on omega-3 but a large number of men lack these essential fatty acids. Fish oil supplements have been shown to improve several sperm parameters, according to a large Danish study that is published in JAMA. The scientists behind the study suggest that men may benefit from taking fish oil supplements to improve their fertility and increase the odds of successful conception. However, they also point out that it typically takes one to two months for the optimal effect to show, and you must continue taking the fish oil supplement to maintain the results.
The most common term for this nutrient is folic acid, whereas vitamin B9 is hardly ever used. Folic acid is the synthetic form that is found in vitamin pills, while folate and folacin are the forms of the nutrient that are found naturally in food. Folic acid is very stable and gets converted into folate in the body. The vitamin is water-soluble. Most of it gets stored in the liver, which contains around half the body's total amount of folate. The nutrient is destroyed by boiling and heating.
The number of children diagnosed with autism has increased steadily over the past decades, and a number of factors can cause the disease. Now, scientists from the University of California and other institutions in the United States have discovered that pregnant women who get the recommended amount of folic acid or increase their intake right around the time of conception have a lower risk of giving birth to a child that develops autism caused by pesticide exposure.
Folic acid plays a role in tissue growth and fetal development during pregnancy. A new study that was presented at an annual congress for British psychologists in Brighton shows that folic acid supplements may even improve the child’s psychological development. This is vital for the child’s ability to handle his or her own feelings and managing socially.
Lack of selenium increases the risk of impaired fertility and complications in connection with pregnancy and birth. Because selenium deficiencies are rather common, both men and women should ideally make sure that they get enough of this essential trace element that is involved in various functions - right from conception to delivery.
A team of scientists from Oregon State University in the United States has managed to explain why lack of vitamin E may cause neurological damage to the developing fetus, and why it increases the risk of spontaneous miscarriage. Their study is published in the science journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine and here, the scientists underline how important it is for both women who are pregnant and those plan pregnancy to get enough vitamin E.
- and has a long-term effect on the maturation of a woman’s eggs
It is well established that zinc is important for the maturation of the eggs in the fallopian tube during a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, a new American study has shown that zinc is involved in even earlier stages of the maturation of the eggs. A zinc deficiency therefore reduces the chance of the eggs being fertilized and dividing later on, which they are supposed to during pregnancy. Lack of zinc is rather common and may harm your fertility for several months to come.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the leading cause of infertility and hormone disturbances in women of childbearing age. The condition is often a result of insulin resistance, an imbalance in the sugar metabolism that is typically accompanied by fatigue, abdominal obesity (apple-shaped body), overweight, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. It makes perfect sense to stick with a blood sugar-stabilizing diet and to include a chromium supplement that increases insulin sensitivity and helps, indirectly, regulate the hormone balance. As a bonus effect, it becomes a lot easier to obtain and maintain your ideal weight.
Impaired fertility and involuntary childlessness are common in the Nordic countries and there can be a number of reasons for these serious problems. However, according to a large Finnish study that is published in Nutrients, vitamin Ddeficiency, which is a widespread problem, may increase women’s risk of fertility problems and cause them to have a miscarriage.
- but dietary and lifestyle changes make a difference
Approximately one in seven couple is childless. Although there can be many underlying causes, poor sperm quality is an increasing problem. It may be caused by a lack of certain nutrients and exposure to different environmental factors, but, fortunately, it possible to improve sperm quality and increase the chances of conception by means of relevant dietary adjustments and the use of specific supplements. New research shows that epigenetic factors (factors that affect the environment of the sperm cell) determine sperm health and are therefore crucial for activating the genes of the sperm cell so the fetus can develop.
Pregnant women are advised not to smoke, as this may harm the unborn baby. However, not all pregnant smokers are able to quit their habit. A new American study shows that vitamin C supplementation can reduce the risk to the baby’s lungs and improve the baby’s breathing.
Yet another example of how vitamin D affects more than strong bones. A study has shown that babies whose mothers took vitamin D during pregnancy had a stronger hand grip and greater muscle mass. This improved muscle strength may also be able to improve their health later in life.
It is important for the health of the unborn child that the expecting mother keeps her vitamin D levels high during her entire pregnancy. According to a study from Southampton University, vitamin D supplementation is less effective, if a pregnant woman starts with low levels of vitamin D in the early stage of her pregnancy, has major and sudden weight gain, and gives birth during winter.
Q10 has a key role in the cellular energy turnover and also serves as an antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress. Disruptions in the energy-producing mitochondria in cells and oxidative stress may also be involved in different types of hormone disturbances that affect the thyroid gland, pancreas, sex glands, pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands. In a new review article that is published in Antioxidants, scientists look closer at Q10’s role with particular focus on hyperthyroidism, type 2 diabetes, and poor sperm quality, all of which can be corrected through supplementation.
An international team of researchers has just completed a huge study of the possible link between maternal DNA, selenium deficiency, and preterm labor. Earlier studies have shown that women with low blood selenium have an increased risk of preterm birth and that selenium supplementation may lower that risk. A problem in that respect is that climate changes and soil depletion may increase the risk of selenium deficiencies, especially in Europe.
Lack of selenium, an essential trace element, may cause thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, virus infections, AIDS, infertility, neurological disturbances, and cancer. An estimated one billion people worldwide are selenium-deficient. This is mainly a result of nutrient-depleted soil, which is a real problem in places like Europe. For decades, scientists have been warning about this problem, and a lot suggests that we need more than the officially recommended intake to protect ourselves effectively against disease, according to a review article published in StatPearls.
Selenium has an overlooked role in sperm quality and healthy pregnancies. A team of scientists from Romania has looked closer at blood levels of different selenium-containing antioxidants and found that low levels are significantly correlated with poor sperm quality. The scientists also explain that lack of selenium increases the risk of pregnancy-related complications, miscarriage, and preterm delivery. Both selenium deficiencies and infertility are common problems so selenium supplementation may be worth considering. For decades, Danish farmers have added selenium to animal fodder as a way of improving the fertility and general health of the animals.
Selenium is a trace element that supports over 30 essential selenoproteins, which have numerous functions. For the first time ever, a study of Mexican children reveals that lack of selenium delays the growth of pubic hairs and the development of sex organs in boys. It is a known fact that the agricultural soil in Mexico is low in selenium and that affects the entire food chain. The same is the case in Europe, for which reason farmers for decades have supplemented livestock with selenium as a way of improving fertility and preventing a number of deficiency problems. The big question is to what extent can selenium deficiency problems explain the impaired sperm quality that has been observed among young men? An estimated 500 million to one billon people worldwide get too little selenium from their diet.
Poor sperm quality, which is a bit of a taboo, is one of the main causes of involuntary infertility. Evidence suggests that Western diets can impair sperm quality, whereas the Mediterranean diet does the opposite. Vegan diets are somewhat controversial, according to a review article published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Previous research has shown that supplementation with selenium, zinc, fish oil, and coenzyme Q10 can improve sperm cell quality.
A groundbreaking new Australian study shows that something as simple as a vitamin B3 supplement can prevent miscarriages and congenital defects of the heart and other organs. This is because the nutrient is involved in the body’s production of NAD, a molecule of vital importance to fetal development. Because vitamin B3 deficiencies are common, it is important to have increased focus on the vitamin, especially in connection with pregnancy.
There is an increasing amount of science that links lack of vitamin D to autism. In a new study, 109 autistic children were given either a vitamin D supplement or placebo. According to the lead researcher, Dr. Khaled Saad, there was a distinct improvement in autism symptoms such as hyperactivity, social reclusion, and other function impairments in the children who took supplements of vitamin D, but not in the placebo group. The study is published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (2016).
It is alarming that many babies are born with a vitamin D deficiency, or become vitamin D deficient later in life. The nutrient controls numerous processes in the brain – including gene control and regulation of serotonin (neurotransmitter) levels and inflammation processes.
In May 2017, new data linking vitamin D and fertility was presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology (ECE) in Lisbon. The new findings contribute to our understanding of vitamin D’s impact on male testosterone levels and of our knowledge about whether vitamin D supplements may actually improve fertility in both sexes. Involuntary infertility, a widespread problem, may be a result of many factors, but if the reason is a vitamin D deficiency, it is easy to treat with increased exposure to sunlight and the use of supplements to keep vitamin D levels optimal all year round.
Lack of vitamin E increases your risk of fertility problems, atherosclerosis, blood clots, and Alzheimer's disease. The diet contains eight different forms of vitamin E. The vitamin is also available in supplement form, either as natural or synthetic vitamin E, and there are huge differences in terms of their effect.
Widespread nutrient deficiencies among younger adults can harm their fertility and cause them to age faster
Large population studies of adults and their diet habits often tend to overlook certain groups such as younger adults. A British study therefore took a closer look at eating habits of adults in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. It revealed a widespread lack of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, and selenium. Being deficient in these essential nutrients can harm your fertility and increase your risk of different diseases, while speeding up concealed ageing processes such as loss of cognition and bone mass.
- here is a check list of typical signs and diseases
An estimated two billion people worldwide lack zinc. The essential trace element is involved in more than 1,000 different enzyme processes, besides being a powerful antioxidant that protects the body’s cells. Even minor zinc deficiencies can lead to impaired digestion, infections, skin problems, fatigue, impaired fertility, and DNA damage. Such deficiencies can eventually increase the risk of cancer and other diseases. People with unhealthy diets, vegetarians, vegans, older people, and pregnant and breastfeeding women are at particular risk of lacking zinc. Even if your diet provides sufficient amounts of zinc, different factors can affect the uptake and utilization of the nutrient, thereby increasing your body’s actual need.
– but will enrichment do the trick?
Even minor zinc deficiencies may cause poor digestion, infections, skin problems, and fatigue – and many other diseases may occur along the way. A new study shows that a diet with as little as four extra mg of zinc daily may strengthen cellular DNA and help protect the body. The four milligrams of zinc are about the same as populations with deficiency symptoms can get by eating zinc-enriched wheat and rice.
Zinc is involved in numerous enzyme processes and proteins that are of importance to fertility and pregnancy. The nutrient also plays a role in fetal brain development and the child’s health later in life, according to a review article that is published in the scientific journal, Nutrients. The authors address the fact that zinc deficiencies are rather common and account for around 20 per cent of infant deaths, typically around the time of birth. It is therefore important to get plenty of zinc throughout life – especially for women before, during, and after pregnancy and while they breastfeed.