New research (the first of its kind) recently published in Fertility & Sterility has shown that the Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content in the cell membranes of human eggs (oocytes) could be correlated to egg quality. This makes perfect sense as the same is true and well-accepted science with sperm quality. Time to take your (quality) fish oils!
The membranes that protect and hold together our cells, mitochondria, and DNA are primarily made up of PUFA. Excessive oxidative stress and free radical production caused by poor diet and lifestyle habits damage these membranes in our eggs and sperm. Add this to the toxic stressful world most of us live in and its no wonder we are seeing such high infertility rates.
Now we know, so what do we do?
Before you jump into taking PUFA oils, remember that not all oils are created equal, and poor quality PUFA’s can actually make things worse. Most industrially produced polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have been oxidized (damaged) due to heat or chemicals in their processing. When you ingest an oxidized PUFA it will actually cause more inflammation and oxidative stress on your body. This is why it is of utmost importance to use high-quality oils.
So, if you are taking a fish oil supplement or cooking with vegetable oils to help with inflammation, give your body healthy fats, and to supply your liver with necessary components to manufacture sex hormones, it better be a high-quality reputable brand, or you are likely doing more harm than good.
If your cooking oil label says ‘canola oil’, ‘vegetable oil’, ‘soybean oil’, or ‘corn oil’, it should be avoided. Basically, any industrially produced oils should be avoided. Also, know the smoke point of the oils you are cooking with, as if your oils smoke or get too hot, they have been oxidized.
As for fish oil, well-known brands that batch test for rancidity and heavy metals, and also fish ethically. Companies such as Nordic Naturals and Nutrisea (Canadian) are what we recommend.
Is there a way to repair the damage?
Yes. This is why, in addition to recommending a healthy diet and lifestyle to our patients, we also recommend high-quality omega 3 fish oil supplements, and our custom ‘anti’-oxidant fertility supplements for both women (QUALITY) and men (ABUNDANCE). These are packed full of the best evidence-based vitamins and nutrients to protect and optimize egg and sperm health.
Take a moment to read this important blog post, ‘Do we really need to take supplements?‘.
Finally, and as far as the evidence is concerned, glutathione is our best weapon against oxidative stress and free radical damage to our egg and sperm membranes. It is the most powerful antioxidant in our arsenal. The only issue with glutathione is that it is very poorly absorbed orally, so it must be injected. We recommend that our patients choose to include glutathione in their weekly acupuncture treatments. Click here to learn more about our micronutrient injection therapies.
- Oocytes of women who are obese or overweight have lower levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids compared with oocytes of women with normal weight. Matorras, Roberto et al. Fertility and Sterility, Volume 113, Issue 1, 53 – 61. https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(19)32205-8/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email