Vitamins and minerals are essential for fertility, but not all supplements are created equal. Fertility supplements are not regulated like prescription medications and do not undergo clinical trials.
Some nutrients boost fertility, including folic acid (Vitamin B9), essential for healthy ovulation and pregnancy. Others have been shown to reduce symptoms of PCOS and endometriosis, while still others may enhance sperm quality.
Carnitine is an antioxidant and a natural chemical produced in the body that assists in transporting long-chain fatty acids to mitochondria for oxidation. It also aids in raising cellular energy levels and lowering oxidative stress. Multiple studies have shown that carnitines (LC and ALC) and other nutrients and antioxidants can enhance female fertility. They suppress free radicals to stop oxidative damage to the DNA of reproductive cells and raise gonadotropins and sex hormones to enhance the quality of oocytes and sperm.
Research has shown that women with PCOS who took 3g of carnitine showed improved menstrual cycle regularity and higher ovulation and pregnancy rates. It can also help to promote a healthy uterine lining for implantation and embryo development.
Folate, a B vitamin, is essential for cell growth and metabolism and improving fertility outcomes. Eating plenty of foods rich in folate, especially leafy green vegetables, avocados, nuts, and seeds, is essential. Folate can also be a supplement to support fertility and improve egg quality. Research has shown that folic acid improves mitochondrial function and DNA methylation.
Taking N-acetyl cysteine or NAC can reduce the symptoms of hormone-related conditions such as heavy periods and excess hair growth. As one of the supplements for female fertility, it can also help improve fertility by decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation.
NAC is a powerful antioxidant that benefits women with PCOS by improving cervical mucus, ovulation, and egg quality and reducing insulin resistance. It can also improve liver health by increasing glutathione stores.
Another essential supplement for female fertility is folate, also known as folic acid. It is essential for embryo development and can be found in high-quality prenatal multivitamins. However, studies have shown that over 50% of women do not get the recommended amount of folate from diet alone.
One study found that men who took 600 milligrams of NAC daily for three months experienced improved sperm motility, count, and quality. NAC also increases the antioxidant capacity of sperm, indicating that it can lower the oxidative stress that can damage them. In addition, NAC is effective at improving the hormonal balance of women with PCOS by lowering androgen levels, which can improve ovulation and fertility.
Inositol, which is a member of the vitamin B family and is sometimes called vitamin B8, has been shown to have some promising fertility benefits for women with PCOS. It has been reported to enhance insulin sensitivity, which is one of the primary reasons why it can aid in the fertility of patients with PCOS.
It has also been found to increase the frequency of ovulation, which can improve egg quality and overall ovarian function. It can also help regulate luteinizing hormones essential for ovulation and egg development. In addition, it can help reduce sperm motility problems, which are another common fertility issue that can be helped with inositol.
Two forms of inositol can be taken: Myo-inositol and d-chiro inositol. Myo-inositol is found primarily in the brain, lungs, and ovaries and is the most common. It has been shown to help support a healthy ovulation cycle and egg quality and improve insulin resistance in those with PCOS. D-chiro inositol is less commonly available but is efficacious in improving fertility when used with myo-inositol.
Folic acid, a B vitamin, is required for optimal cell formation, especially during early pregnancy, to lower the chance of congenital brain and spine impairments. The B vitamin folic acid is necessary for average cell growth and lowers the risk of congenital brain and spinal abnormalities, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy. It forms red blood cells, which transport oxygen to the body’s tissues, closely cooperating with vitamin B12. Dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, almonds, and fruits, including oranges, lemons, bananas, and melons, are natural sources of folate. Folate also collaborates with vitamin B6 to regulate homocysteine levels, which are linked to recurrent miscarriage and cardiovascular disease.
Both men and women need a sufficient intake of folic acid, and getting enough may improve body size for both males and females. In women, folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) and optimize egg quality. In men, it can support sperm health and normalize a man’s cycle length.
You might have heard of Vitamin D for its role in bone development and calcium absorption, but it also plays a vital role in your immune system, heart health, digestive function, and more. Vitamin D is an antioxidant, reducing oxidative damage and improving mitochondrial function in cells throughout the body.
Studies suggest that low vitamin D levels may be associated with PCOS, uterine fibroids, and a higher risk of miscarriage. In one study, women with lower vitamin D levels were twice as likely as those with greater vitamin D levels to have a first-trimester miscarriage.
Checking vitamin D levels with a blood test is easy, inexpensive, and an excellent way to take control of your fertility health. As it is implicated in many common reproductive issues, ensuring optimal levels is worth it.