Supplements for Fertility & Hormonal Health
I want to start this post off noting that I am not a medical doctor. Please consult your heath care provider for personalized recommendations.
I will be honest with you.
I am not a huge fan of supplements.
I am an advocate of getting our nutritional needs from whole food sources. There is nothing quite like getting iron from Spinach, or Vitamin C from an Orange or Strawberries.
But lets be real here. The truth is most of us are deficient in at least one vitamin or mineral, and supplements can help us remedy that.
But first please understand that while supplements are incredibly helpful, what's more important is the food you're eating. You can take supplements daily but if your diet is full of processed foods, how much good can it really do? On the opposite end of that, some of us tend to go over board with the supplements. Most people who take tons of vitamins are not able to fully receive the benefits from them because they aren't taken properly and or not fully digested.
When I set out to do The Fertile Life 90 Day Transformation I knew I needed to add a supplement routine to help support the deep nourishment of my body
Here is a list of supplements I am taking while doing #TFL90 aka "The Fertile Life 90 Day Transformation". I am not sponsored by any of these brands, and will not be able to provide a full review for some of them until AFTER the 90 day transformation is over.
#TFL90 SUPPLEMENT REGIMEN
Evening Primrose - during Luteal Phase
Cod Liver (Omegas) during Follicular Phase
Sprouted Brazil Nuts 2x/day for selenium
Supplements for Fertility & Hormonal Health
Let's keep it simple.
The best way to know what supplements you need, is to get a full blood workup done.
If this is not something you are able to do right now, you should understand what kind of vitamins you're taking and why. It's important that you don't over do it, and it is recommend that you take only three supplements at a time consistently for three months to see changes in your body. As you can see above I am taking more than three for #TFL90. Ultimately you and your healthcare provider will have to decide what's best for you. But having a general idea of what supplements are helpful for fertility and hormonal health is always beneficial.
Please do not buy and use all of these supplements at one time unless given direction from your healthcare provider.
First lets talk a bit more about how vitamins work.
Fat Soluble vs. Water Soluble vitamins
Fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, are stored in body fat and build up over time. If you are on a low fat diet (which is not recommended when trying to conceive) overtime you may develop deficiencies which effect your fertility and health. On the other side of that, because fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body tissue you can have too much - so keep that in mind before you go buy a bottle of something you may already have enough of. Eating healthy fats like Avocado, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Nuts are a must in any fertility diet. Not only do they come with their own nutritional properties, but they also help your body to absorb necessary nutrients.
Water Soluble Vitamins B and C, need to be replenished daily because they are flushed out of the body through urine. For fertility and menstrual health, B Vitamins aka B Complex, are essential for the healthy functioning of blood. Without proper blood supply our body cannot function at its optimal level. Women who are deficient in B Vitamins, generally B6 & B12, and Folate (sometimes the case for women who are Vegan) may experience symptoms such as amenorrhea ( which is no menstrual cycles), delayed menstrual cycles, painful and/or scanty periods, and irregular ovulation.
For optimal gut health, it's very important you find a good quality probiotic. Whatever brand you choose to buy, it should be stored in the fridge because you want the good bacteria to be and stay alive. Probiotics help fight off unwanted bacteria and yeast strains. Balancing the gut microbiome helps rid the body of harmful microbes, including those that may impact fertility and hormonal health. We now know that the gut acts as our "second brain" and when digestion is working properly the body is better able to function optimally.
Prenatal or Women's Multi-Vitamin |
If you're trying to conceive you should already be taking a prenatal vitamin. If you're not trying to conceive but hormonal balance is your goal, a women's daily multi-vitamin may be better suited for you. What's important to understand here is that not all vitamins are created equal. You want a multi-vitamin that is plant based, doesn't contain a list full of fillers, and is non-GMO.
If you're not trying to conceive and eat a very well balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, you may not need to take a daily multi-vitamin supplement. This recommendation is for most women who are not getting all the proper nutrients they need from their current diets and need help with supplementation.
Omegas 3,6,9 |
Again with the healthy fats, are you seeing a theme here? They are essential for fertility and hormonal health. Omega's 3,6, and 9 are fatty acids. Omega 3 helps to regulate hormones, increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, and promote ovulation. It is found in both fish and flax oils and contains a high level of DHA which is crucial during pregnancy for the health of the babies brain, eyes, and nervous system. Omega 6 which is found in Borage Oil, helps to reduce inflammation, supports bone health, and reduces high blood pressure. Omega 9 which is great for heart health is found in Olive Oil and Avocados.
A great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin's A & D is Cod Liver Oil. If you are looking for a supplement that contains all three fatty acids, Cod Liver Oil is a great option. I use this brand.
Evening Primrose Oil |
Extracted from seeds of the Evening Primrose, EPO is high in omega-6 essential fatty acids. Omega-6 contains Gamma-linolenic acid which has been found to enhance mucus quality during ovulation; and Linoleic Acid which promotes hormonal balance. Evening Primrose Oil is a great supplement for women who are struggling with PMS symptoms and may be especially helpful for women with Endometriosis.
To take EPO:
Hormonal Balance - Take during the Luteal phase which are days 14-28 and Cod Liver Oil days 1-14.
While trying to conceive - Take from Day 1 - 14 or until Ovulation and then switch to Cod Liver Oil.
Why the switch? There is research that suggest Evening Primrose may cause uterine contractions, it is often taken during the last trimester of pregnancy to ripen the cervix. If you are trying to conceive, switching to Cod Liver Oil after ovulation may be safer.
Diindolylmethane or DIM is a naturally occurring nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables. So yes, you can find it in Broccoli but if you're estrogen dominate you'd have to eat way more broccoli than you wanted to get the recommend dose. DIM improves estrogen metabolization, which means if you are estrogen dominant or struggling with Endometriosis, it may be especially helpful for you. DIM may also be helpful if you struggle with hormonal acne.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance:
PMS – Especially anger or intense sadness
*Check the absorption rate before purchasing DIM to be sure that it is a quality supplement.
A great supplement for both men and women is CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q1. CoQ10 functions as an antioxidant in the body, and decreases the damaging effects of free radicals on the reproductive organs. For women or men who are concerned about egg and sperm quality, supplementing with Coq10 has been found to be beneficial.
Royal Jelly |
Royal Jelly is the food that the worker bees feed to the Queen Bee. It is a highly nutritional creamy like substance that has been used for centuries as an overall health tonic to promote longevity and anti-aging. What's wonderful about Royal Jelly is that it also supports the immune system and promotes hormonal balance. High in vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and proteins, Royal Jelly is a great supplement for women with PCOS as it has been found to regulate hormones when there is a lack of estrogen.
*WARNING* If you have a bee allergy please do not use Royal Jelly.
N-acetyl cysteine |
N-acetylcysteine is an antioxidant that helps the body fight damage done by free radicals and helps to protect the body from oxidative stress. Also known as NAC, N-acetylcysteine has been found to improve egg quality, increase ovulation, and decease chances of miscarriage.
Collagen, a structural protein that naturally occurs inside animal skin and bones. It is especially beneficial for skin, teeth, and bones. This is especially important for someone who is trying to conceive and grow a baby. Collagen is also helpful for gut heath and a great source can be found in bone broth. If you're unable to sip a really gelatinized broth daily, you may consider supplementing with collagen.
Brazil Nuts |
Okay so this is not exactly a supplement, but is recommended that you eat one, twice daily like it is. Brazil nuts are high in Selenium which is a natural antioxidant that plays a very important role during conception. Selenium helps to support thyroid hormone production, supports immune response, and helps to rid the body of damaging chemicals. Brazil Nuts are also beneficial for sperm and prostate health.
Did you download The Fertile Life 90 Day Starter Guide?