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Key nutrients for fertility

  • FOLATE; woman planning pregnancy should have at least 400mcg of folic acid for three months prior to conception to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Good food sources include green leafy vegetables and absorption is aided by Vitamin C
  • ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS; important to take for three months prior to conception. These hormone regulators are important for babies’ brain development. Sources include linseeds, oily fish, walnuts and green leafy vegetables.
  • AMINO ACIDS; play a vital role in sperm and oocyte production
  • VITAMIN A (BETACAROTENE) essential for producing male and female hormones for reproduction; important for progesterone production, cycle regularity and early pregnancy. Excessive doses however, can be linked to foetal abnormalities.
  • B VITAMINS (especially B6, folate and B 12) important for brain and spinal cord developments and balance sex hormone production. Stress and alcohol consumption can reduce absorption.
  • Vitamin B1 – linked to failed ovulation and implantation. Sources include molasses, yeast, whole grains, nuts, brown rice, egg yolks, fish, poultry, pulses and seeds.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin);linked to sterility miscarriage and low birth weight. (Food sources the same as B1).
  • VITAMIN B5 (PANTHOTHENIC ACID); important at time of conception for foetal development. Sources include salmon, wheat germ, sweet potatoes, broccoli, oranges, pecans, cashews and strawberries.
  • VITAMIN B6; essential for sex hormones and proper functioning of the ovaries for oestrogen and progesterone production. Sources include green leafy vegetables.
  • VITAMIN B 12; important for DNA and RNA synthesis, essential for the uptake of folic acid into cells and for foetal brain development. Sources include animal products such as sardines, salmon and lamb (vegetarians will need to take supplementation).
  • VITAMIN E; important for ovulation and linked to decreasing risk of miscarriage. Used with selenium and vitamin c, it can also help to maintain a healthy endometrium.
  • IRON; low levels of iron can affect fertility and increase miscarriage rate. Sources include lean meats, eggs, fish, poultry and green leafy vegetables like spinach kelp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. (Tea, coffee and smoking decrease absorption).
  • MAGNESIUM; deficiencies linked to female infertility and increased risk of miscarriage. Sources include kelp, green leafy vegetables, tofu, bananas and brown rice.
  • SELENIUM; deficiencies are linked to female infertility and miscarriage. Sources include tuna, wheat germ and bran.
  • MANGANESE; deficiencies can lead to defective ovulation. Sources include whole grains and leafy vegetables and carrots.
  • ZINC; important for healthy ovulation, sperm production, maintenance of the menstrual function and fetal growth and cell division. Sources include lean meat, fish, seafood, chicken, eggs, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  • COENZYME Q 10; important in energy production, sperm and oocyte production contained within every cell.
  • IODINE; important for thyroid hormone production essential for healthy brain development.
  • VITAMIN B3; important for energy production and production of hormones.
  • PABA; important for healthy sperm production, folic acid production by intestinal bacteria, red cell production and protein processing.