Search Results for "infertility"
Lycopene Helps Fight Infertility in Men
Given that lycopene (a substance found in many red fruits and veggies such as tomatoes and watermelon) has been shown to lower risk of prostate cancer, it is not surprising that this substance also has an effect on other male reproductive issues. Combine lycopene with zinc and therapies designed to restore hormone levels and many cases of infertility may be resolved.
(article) Lycopene, an antioxidant found in watermelon, grapes, tomatoes and some shellfish, seems to treat infertility in men, studies conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi show. AIIMS researchers Dr. Rajeev Kumar and Dr. N. P. Gupta had 30 infertile male patients, ages 23 to 45, take 2 mg oral lycopene twice daily for 3 months. “Lycopene is one of the 650 carotenoids found in high concentrations in male testes and lower levels of lycopene are found in infertile males,” Dr. Gupta told Reuters Health. The duration of infertility in these men had ranged from 1.2 to 20 years, according to the researchers. In all cases, infertility was idiopathic. Twenty-seven patients had oligospermia, 26 had impaired sperm motility and 22 had abnormal sperm morphology. All three parameters were found in 14 patients, another 14 had two abnormal parameters and the remaining two patients had a single abnormality. After lycopene had been administered for 3 months, sperm concentration improved in 67% of the 30 patients. Maximum improvement was noted in patients with baseline sperm concentrations greater than 5 million/mL. Overall, 73% patients showed improved sperm motility and 63% showed improvement in sperm morphology. “We found that improvement in sperm concentration and motility was statistically significant,” Dr. Gupta said in the interview with Reuters Health. There were six pregnancies after the trial, he added. “Oral lycopene therapy does seem to have a positive role in the management of infertility of unknown causes,” Dr. Gupta concluded. “However, larger randomized controlled trials are essential before definitive therapeutic guidelines can be laid down.”
Increased insulin resistance in women with recurrent pregnancy loss
The treatment of infertility in today’s medical environment rarely addresses lifestyle factors that contribute to problems achieving and completing a full term pregnancy. In any couples having difficulty, insulin resistance should always be addressed as a primary intervention. Insulin resistance has been strongly linked with polycystic ovary disease, which is notorious for creating problems with ovulation and therefore conception.
You try to do everything for your kids’ health. Yet childhood obesity statistics continue to mount. Could something they do doing every day be affecting them?
In today’s overly toxic world there are many things you are exposed to that harm your health and you may not even be aware of them or how likely your exposure is. Some examples include:
- Teflon / non-stick coatings on cookware
- Fragrances in many items such as candles and sprays
- Flame retardants in most clothing, linens and furniture
- Rapidly grilled meat
While the list is much longer, these are a few that we are all very commonly exposed to. The one I did not put on this list, though, it likely the most common exposure.
That 12 ounce bottled water sitting next to you right now.
Somewhere along the way, society decided that we were at risk of spontaneously desiccating to a husk if we did not have water immediately accessible at every single moment of our lives. Personally, I haven’t seen it happen, but I suppose it could.
This behavior has had a price to pay. The exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has increased as a result of this proximity to bottled water. I have certainly written in past blogs about how bad BPA can be for our health, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes and certain cancers like breast cancer.
This particular article takes a look at the relationship between BPA exposure and childhood obesity statistics. Researchers looked at the urine BPA levels of children aged 9-19 and looked at how many suffered from childhood obesity. Here’s what they found:
- Those with the lowest BPA had the lowest risk of childhood obesity.
- Those kids with the highest levels of BPA had a 22% greater risk of being classified as having childhood obesity than the kids with the lowest levels.
Granted, 22% is not a huge number, but given that the childhood obesity statistics are continually heading up, anything we can do to impact this process is a good thing. So scrap the plastic water bottle and start giving your dehydrated children tea in a BPA free water container.
Are you still buying bottled water for your family?
Current Perspectives in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
It is pretty much settled in the literature that PCOS is strongly linked to insulin resistance. However, the direction of clinical studies to address this factor usually include insulin sensitizing agents such as metformin.
This article suggests that weight loss via control and awareness of carb intake and exercise alone is powerful enough to fix menstrual irregularity and infertility. So many times women with fertility problems run off to fertility “specialists” who prescribed fertility drugs that force the system to perform a function (ovulation) that it is not ready for. This approach also ignores the underlying physiological defect that can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes and CVD later in life.
Current Perspectives in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome — August 15, 2003 – American Family Physician
We live in a chemical soup made up of fragrances, flame retardants, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, particulate matter and Teflon coating.
98% of us have even detectable levels of a compound called perfluorooctanoic acid in our blood. Just the name sounds pretty serious. (I’m guessing that the 2% without perfluorooctanoic acid in their systems are living in the deep woods regions of the Saskatchewan province and wouldn’t even now Teflon coating if you hit them upside the head with the pan…)
Environmental chemicals to which we are exposed to have a clear, negative impact on multiple aspects of our health. Effects on fertility, the thyroid, obesity and cancer risk are clear. Damage to the cardiovascular system is also on the list.
Perfluorooctanoic acid is a chemical most commonly associated with non-stick cooking surfaces like Teflon coating. Many do not give a second thought to the cookware they use and consider the convenience of non-stick cookware an advantage. That is, of course, until they drop dead of a heart attack or have to have a leg amputated because the arteries going into the leg are so clogged up. Not so convenient then…
This particular study looked at the relationship between the perfluorooctanoic acid found in Teflon coating and heart disease. Normally, I wouldn’t have thought that a study like this was important enough to share with Ranting’s readers, but the results were much stronger that I would have thought.
Researchers first made sure they accounted for all traditional cardiovascular risk factors (age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking status, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and serum cholesterol level). Even after taking the risk due to these issues were into account, the contribution of perfluorooctanoic acid to heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease were significant:
- Those with the highest levels in their blood had DOUBLE the risk of heart disease and stroke
- They also had a 178% greater risk for peripheral artery disease
These aren’t small numbers. And consider that this risk is on TOP of existing risk factors.
The nice thing is that you can easily avoid non-stick cookware, at least at home. Personally, I’ve used stainless steel cookware for years and never really have had any problems with getting it clean. Sometimes requires a little extra elbow grease, but then I get some exercise on top of it all.
So what have YOU done to reduce your exposure to environmental chemicals that damage your health?
Coeliac disease and subfertility: association is often neglected
Infertility treatment in today’s society usually consists of fertility drugs and the birth control pill. These methods are designed to override normal human physiology and force the body to perform something it is not ready to perform. A more logical approach would be to restore normal physiology and allow the body to perform as it was meant to. This would include managing insulin resistance, use of progesterone cream, lowering estrogen exposure (endogenous and exogenous) and, in the case of this study, evaluating for coelic disease (allergy to the gluten protein found in several grains, most notably wheat).
bmj.com Sanders 327 (7425): 1226-e.
Infertility, or problems getting pregnant, is becoming a greater burden for couples today. Luckily, with the right tips you can cure infertility naturally.
Sometimes, this is obvious, like adopting an anti-diabetic lifestyle (prediabetes is a MAJOR cause of infertility), reducing stress and exercising consistently. Sometimes, the problem is not so obvious.
Ninety-seven (yes…pretty much all of us) of Americans have a chemical in their bloodstream that makes pregnancy difficult. I think that most of us live in a comfortable oblivion when it comes to just how many chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis and how much effect they have on our overall health and risk of chronic disease. But if we just ignore them, they won’t bother us, right??
PBDEs are chemicals used in flame retardants (furniture, clothing, dog beds, mattresses, etc…). As mentioned, the CDC states that they are present in the blood of 97% of Americans.
In this particular study, researchers tested the levels of certain PBDE’s in the blood of a group of pregnant women and asked them how long it took them to become pregnant.
Overall, the higher the levels in the blood stream of PBDEs, the longer it took for these women to get pregnant. At the high end, those women with the higher levels in their bloodstream took 40-50% longer to get pregnant.
This further reinforces the idea that infertility is a very systemic process, and forcing a woman’s body into pregnancy through fertility “experts” with medication can be a dangerous thing.
In this particular case, if PBDEs were higher, it means that the developing baby will ALSO be exposed to higher levels.
Bottom line? Evaluate constantly how many chemicals you and your children are exposed to and do your best to lower your exposure in any way possible.
So what changes did you or are you going to make to ensure that you had or have a healthy pregnancy?
Changes in Glucose Tolerance over Time in Women with Polycystic Ovaries
The research pointing to the link between insulin resistance and PCOS is very, very strong. And yet I read an article in a pregnancy/mother magazine about PCOS. The last therapy mentioned was managing insulin resistance. While I was exuberant that it was mentioned at all, why last? This should absolutely, unquestionably be the first line therapy. If infertility associated with PCOS is treated with fertility drugs, then the doctor just missed the true problem of insulin resistance and should be liable for malpractice.
Quite frankly, I am sick of patients coming through my office that have a glowing light above their head flashing “insulin resistant” and yet, despite multiple providers that they see, no one has addressed the insulin resistance. Their is no longer any excuse not the know this. Any physician in clinical practice today that does not fully understand the negative ramifications of insulin resistance on their patients should be kicked out of medicine. Period.
So maybe the title is a little dramatic. But problems with infertility do not rely solely on the woman. Viewing infertility from a male standpoint the most important factor to consider is environmental toxicity. Believe it or not, there are clothes you may wear to work everyday that will affect sperm quality and count.
The EPA registers some 83,000 chemicals for use in the US, and the vast majority of these have never been scrutinized for their health effects. However, there are some classes that have been evaluated more fully, and the picture is rarely a positive one. Frequently on the list of common household exposures are the flame retardants. They are in everything these days, from your mattress to your clothing to your furniture and your dog’s bedding. One would think we were under constant pressure to undergo spontaneous combustion.
Flame retardants have shown clear effects on the thyroid gland and cancer risk. This particular study looked at the presence of flame retardants in the house dust of men attending a fertility clinic. Researchers looked at the presence of two compounds, tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) and triphenyl phosphate (TPP), and found that they were in 96% and 98% of the men. As the levels of these compounds in house dust increased, sperm quality decreased.
While one would think that dusting may help the issue, it is not likely to be the case. Researchers merely looked at dust rather than the blood levels in these patients. Exposure to these compounds likely comes from multiple sources, including those mentioned above. The best option is to reduce your overall exposure to these compounds by replacing old cushions, buying clothing without flame retardants and not sleeping on a flame retardant mattress.
In addition to the flame retardants, chemicals like BPA have also show to affect hormone levels in men that could lead to reduced sperm quality and quantity. Quitting smoking and dietary quality will also have a positive effect on fertility levels in men, with compounds like zinc and lycopene (the red pigment found in tomatoes) having been shown to help.
The bottom line is that, for those men who are a part of an infertile couple, it is not merely your job to just sit patiently at the “infertility” clinic appointment for your partner. You have to take an active role in improving your health as well.