About The Ingredients
Vitamin A has been an important part of reproductive health forever. In fact, Dr. Weston A Price, a dentist who traveled the world in the early 1900s in search of the cause of dental decay and physical degeneration, stumbled upon the connection between fertility, strong healthy babies, and foods naturally high in vitamin A. Many cultures would even save certain foods for women or newlywed couples to aid in fertility health as these foods have been known to aid in conceiving a healthy baby.
Even though there were no sources back then telling them the importance of vitamin A, they knew from generations of experience and the evidence of healthy strong babies born to couples who consumed foods plentiful in vitamin A, as well as differences from when those foods were not consumed. Today, we have more scientific knowledge to pass on, but it stemmed from our ancestors.
Vitamin A, being an antioxidant, is essential in fertility health for both men and women. Carotenoids help protect sperm through the maturation process from free radical damage, decreasing the possibilities of miscarriage. It’s also been shown that beta-carotene can help improve sperm quality and motility (1). In the woman, however, the corpus luteum, a hormone-releasing body found in the ovaries, is high in beta-carotene (4).
It’s a good idea to ensure proper vitamin A stores prior to pregnancy for the sake of early fetal development. Vitamin A, in the active form, is responsible for cell differentiation among cells, tissues, and organs. It’s been shown that deficiencies in vitamin A can lead to birth deformities or miscarriage (2) (3). According to Sally Fallon Morell in her book, The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care, “It is vitamin A that gives the undifferentiated fetal stem cells (sometimes called germ cells) their signals to differentiate into the various organs, such as heart, liver and lungs. […] Each organ begins development during a specific window of time. Vitamin A regulates the differentiation of the primitive cells into cells specific to each organ system, in essence signaling to the genes their marching orders so they “know” where to locate themselves and what kind of tissues to become.”
DHA & EPA
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid commonly found in fish oil. It is a major fatty acid in the brain, sperm, and eye. Pregnant women should be sure to take a daily supplement that provides a minimum of 300 mg of DHA at the very least.
DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid and found in conjunction with EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid). DHA is beneficial for neurological health and is added to prenatal vitamins for the central nervous system and optical development of a fetus. DHA is highly recommended for both pregnant and breastfeeding. Consider this research:
A 2004 study published in Child Development found that babies whose mothers had high blood levels of DHA at delivery had advanced attention spans into their second year of life. During the first six months of life these infants were two months ahead of babies whose mothers had lower DHA levels. A 2003 study published in the journal Pediatrics showed children whose mothers took a DHA supplement during pregnancy scored higher on intelligence tests at four years of age than children of mothers not taking DHA supplements.
The acai berry has been found to be richer in antioxidants than any other fruit or berries known. The acai berry is composed of antioxidants, hundreds of times more potent than any other fruit, as well as amino acids and omega fatty acids. Antioxidant-rich foods like acai and other berries will support good quality ovulation and protect the follicle as it develops.
It is the antioxidant property in the acai berries that is thought to have the positive effect of reversing poor egg quality.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like supplement that is suggested to enhance female fertility. Found in every cell of the body, CoQ10 is a part of the electron transport chain which is responsible for generating energy in our cells. Functioning as an antioxidant, it decreases the damaging effects of free radicals on the reproductive system.
It is believed that as we age, our naturally occurring levels of CoQ10 diminish. As a result, the processes that require high energy, such as those associated with fertilization and embryo development, are unable to work as hard – resulting in a lower efficiency within those systems. With less energy available for the “machinery” of the dividing cells, more errors can be made in the division of genetic information, leading to a higher rate of genetically abnormal embryos.
There has been considerable research into the effects of CoQ10 on overall egg quality. A recent promising study in mice found an improvement in the egg quality later in their reproductive years suggesting that supplementation of CoQ10 may be able to help overcome the natural decline of a woman’s fertility as she ages.
Folic acid is a part of the B complex of vitamins. It is essential for many processes within the body including nerve function, the health of red blood cells, and the correct formation of DNA within each cell in the body which allows for normal cell replication.
Extensive research has proven folic acid protects against the development of spinal cord birth defects. Spinal cord defects, otherwise known as neural tube defect, affects 0.1-0.2 percent of pregnancies. Folic acid supplementation, started before pregnancy and continued until 6-12 weeks gestation, reduces the rate of spinal cord defects by nearly 75 percent. Because the greatest benefit of folic acid supplementation occurs prior to when many women realize that they are pregnant, Folic Acid should be taken by all women who could become pregnant.
Vitamin D helps the body create sex hormones which of course directly affects ovulation and hormonal balance. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that enhances and helps to regulate the intestinal absorption of essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphate and zinc. Vitamin D levels are maintained through either dietary ingestion or through synthesis in the skin when exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency in women attempting to become pregnant and pregnant women has become of increasing concern.
Numerous potential associations have been reported between vitamin D deficiency and adverse fetal and maternal complications. Severe maternal vitamin D deficiency has been associated with congenital rickets (low bone density) and bone fractures in the newborn.
While no absolute benefits have been identified studies do show that a normal level of vitamin D does lead to increased overall health. For that reason it is our suggestion for women with a low vitamin D level to take a supplement and ultimately maintain a normal level.
Vitamin C improves hormone levels and increases fertility in women with luteal phase defect, meaning the luteal phase is shorter than usual.
Zinc keeps the reproductive system in balance. Promotes proper cell division and decreases the risk of miscarriage.
Calcium is recommended for all women of childbearing age. Nutritional experts say that, in order to get pregnant, you should take in about 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. This enhances your calcium stores and will help your baby in its growth and development after you conceive. Calcium can be taken as a separate supplement or as part of a prenatal vitamin. If you don’t like these large, chalky pills, try getting your calcium through leafy green vegetables and milk—both of which are high in calcium.
Calcium citrate the form of Calcium in M Plus B is well absorbed on an empty stomach and does not constipate. The downside is that it has less calcium per pill (20 percent). On the positive side, calcium citrate is less dependent on stomach acid for absorption. Older people often have decreased stomach acid, so the citrate form may be a better choice than calcium carbonate.
You need to be taking iron before you get pregnant in order to have adequate stores of the vitamin at the time of conception. Iron is important in both the pregnancy and non-pregnancy states as it is vital in making hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the molecule that carries oxygen from the lungs to the peripheral tissues as part of cellular metabolism.
Vitamin E has been shown especially effective for protecting nerve cells, red blood cells, and immune system function; aiding in the prevention of and healing of neurological disorders, chronic viral illness and anemia. Several studies have been performed in relation to fertility health, revealing its importance for reproductive function and health.
Vitamin E is incorporated into the lipid (fatty) part of the cell membrane, where it stabilizes and protects the cell membrane from toxic compounds including lead, mercury and other heavy metals; toxic compounds such as benzene, carbon tetrachloride, cleaning solvents (all known endocrine disruptors); medications; radiation; and free-radicals. This is especially important for hormonal balance, as well as cellular health. Toxic compounds have been shown to contribute to infertility.
Increased Thickness For Thin Uterine Lining
A study published by Fertility and Sterility in April, 2010, showed that vitamin E supplementation may aid in increasing the thickness of the endometrium in women with thin uterine lining <8mm. Researchers wanted to see if these supplement could increase uterine radial artery (uRA) blood flow. Results showed vit. E given at 600mg a day increased uRA in 72% of patients and endometrial thickness (EM) in 52% of patients. Reduction in Miscarriage
Vitamin B is actually a complex of eight chemically distinct vitamins. The B vitamins are interrelated, and some of them require others in order to work. You should make sure your multivitamin includes the complete B vitamin complex. You will often see vitamins B1, B2, and B3 listed as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, respectively. Vitamin B9, or folic acid, is so important, we’ll talk about it by itself a little later. Vitamin B6 is linked to fertility in two ways. First, it contributes to the luteal phase of the ovulation cycle. That is the period in which the uterine wall thickens and prepares for the embryo to implant. Second, B6 lowers the level of homocysteine, an amino acid that is associated with heart disease risk. Studies have found that lower levels of homocysteine correlate to higher rates of pregnancy. Some studies have also linked B12 deficiency in women to problems in ovulation and implantation of a fertilized egg.