It can be very daunting walking down the supplement aisle trying to figure out what supplements you need to support your body while you are trying to conceive. There is so much information out there – I hope to give you some guidance when thinking about what supplements for preconception that you should consider!
A good quality prenatal is key! There are three things I normally look for:
- Are the vitamins in their absorbable forms?
Many of the vitamins in prenatal supplements contain oxide forms. The oxide form is not as well absorbed as the citrate form and can be irritating to the body. Also look out for the form of iron in the supplement. Iron fumarate does not absorb well as iron bisglycinate.
- Are the vitamins in their correct dose?
For example, a good quality prenatal will have 50-100mg of various B vitamins versus common prenatal supplements prescribed have between 1-18mg daily.
- Are there any fillers/added ingredients?
Make sure to read the product label carefully. Many products can contain added fillers such as colors and chemicals that are not needed and can be harmful to the body.
To learn more about choosing the right prenatal check out the following blog post: http://fertilitymatters.ca/2017/04/20/3-keys-choosing-prenatal-vitamin/
Folate is also known as Vitamin B9. It is important to take because it helps to prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Up to 60% of the population has a genetic defect that prevents them from activating folic acid resulting in lack of absorption of the vitamin. Taking the activated form known as folate or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) assists in absorption, preventing miscarriages and birth defects.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are required for optimum health but the body cannot make them alone. You have to get omega 3 fatty acids from food or supplementation. Food sources of omega 3 fatty acids include fish and nut oils such as walnuts. Omega 3 fatty acids are important for conception since it assists in healthy ovarian and uterine function, sperm function and implantation.
- Vitamin D
Did you know Vitamin D is actually considered a hormone? It is key for healthy sperm development, proper egg maturation, implantation and pregnancy risk reduction. Make sure you get your Vitamin D levels tested so that you can ensure you are taking the correct dosage for your body’s requirements.
- Antioxidant support
Mitochondria are known as powerhouses of the cell. It is where energy production is generated. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is required in the mitochondria for energy production. CoQ10 is also considered one of the most potent antioxidants to the body. In humans, the mature egg contains the highest number of mitochondria! Therefore, we need to make sure we have enough antioxidant support. Antioxidants protect the growing follicles from damage, enhances quality of the sperm and egg, improves uterine function, and supports the growing embryo.
To learn more about CoQ10 check out this article: http://fertilitymatters.ca/2017/05/23/deal-coq10-fertility/
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