A-Z of Health I – Infertility
You may be surprised to see I have picked infertility but I am not. I often mention the western diet and the impact on our overall health. Fertility is no different.
Sperm counts in the West plunge by 60% in 40 years as ‘modern life’ damages men’s health
Pesticides, hormone-disrupting chemicals, diet, stress, smoking and obesity are being blamed for this decline in sperm counts but there is more to it than that, many men (and women) are now malnourished, (that doesn’t mean starving, often the opposite, but lacking in essential nutrients). Many of these nutrients play a vital role in fertility.
Prior to conception the diet of BOTH parents is equally important, it is only after conception that the emphasis should be on the female. This decline in sperm count clearly is a male issue but let’s look at both men and women.
For both men and women weight is a contributory factor to many health issues but can also negatively impact on fertility. Not only that but obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are both heritable genetic information (meaning unhealthy feeding behaviours of biological parents have a negative impact on the child, because the sperm and eggs contain heritable epigenetic information – take a look at my blog on epigenetics).
When it comes to nutrition it is often what we eat and what is missing from our diet that causes the issues. As I have said throughout my A-Z of health blog posts a western diet typically is calorie dense but nutrient poor.
When it comes to infertility there are many contributing factors: –
- Weight as mentioned above, not only for yourselves but for the future child and even grandchild
- Processed foods – a typical western diet contains little nutrients but many ingredients which may actually harm us particularly artificial sweeteners
- Avoid Trans-fats – these are a particularly dangerous form of artificially manufactured fat used in processed food
Studies have linked infertility with Trans-Fats consumption and many are fighting for a global ban on these fats
Along with what to avoid when I work with clients on fertility nutrition I discuss the importance of what to include in the diet.
For men and women there are micronutrients essential for fertility and the healthy development of a baby. Please don’t assume you can just take a multi-vitamin, the biology of food is slightly more complex than this and you would need a healthy and efficient gut microbiome to extract the benefit if the multi vitamin in the first place!
I work with couples together in my online nutrition coaching to get you both fertility ready and support the health your future baby, taking into account the epigenetic traits and how your diet and lifestyle now can impact on your child and their child.
Some of these issues are touched on in my female nutrition webinar but a more individual approach would be recommended.
About the author of this blog
Louise Mercieca is a multi award-winning author on children’s nutrition with her book ‘How Food Shapes Your Child’ winning the Parenting award in Janey Lee Grace’s Platinum awards.
Louise has also won a SBS or Small Business Sunday award from Theo Paphitis and was recently crowned as Queen of Child Nutrition in the #Queenof Twitter awards.
Louise has worked as a Nutritional Therapist for 8 years supporting hundreds of clients and does take on a limited number of personal coaching clients each month – contact Louise to discuss this. Louise has also created an accessible and affordable webinar schedule covering many topics discussed in this A-Z post series. https://www.louisemercieca.co.uk/webinar