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What is "Egg Quality" and why should we care about it when trying for a baby?


Have you been hearing the term "egg quality" tossed around alot in the fertility/ pregnancy world? Usually this comes alongside an ad for a supplement or an instagram post promoting specific superfoods... but what is it and why should you care about it?

 

If you are a woman wanting to fall pregnant this year, then egg quality is something that you'll want to know about! The healthier your eggs, the greater chance of ovulation occurring, fertilisation by sperm happening, successful implantation, and a lower risk of DNA abnormalities and miscarriage (1).

 

Improving egg quality gives you a much better chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.

If you are...

  • Currently trying for a baby or plan to begin trying in the next 3 months.

    • Diet and lifestyle in the 3 months prior to conception can trigger adaptations to gene expression which can impact on your baby’s future behaviour, weight, physical and mental health, and  THEIR future egg quality and fertility (2). It is our opportunity to set our future baby up for the best possible health before they are even conceived which is incredible.

  • Not regularly ovulating

    • The quality of oocytes (eggs) can influence their ability to develop into mature follicles and undergo successful ovulation.

  • Struggling to fall pregnant after 6+ months of trying

    • Egg quality is ALWAYS needing to be considered in this instance. Even if ovulation is occurring, if egg quality is poor then this can reduce the potential for fertilisation and implantation to occur.

  • Over 35 years old

    • As we age there is more risk of errors occurring in the development of our oocytes as they mature. This can impact negatively on ovulation and fertilisation rates, and increase the risk of miscarriage (3).

  • Have an upcoming egg collection for freezing or IVF

    • We want to make sure that the healthiest possible eggs are being collected and frozen or used in reproductive treatments. Doing this can increase the number of eggs collected, the likelihood of viable healthy embryos forming, and a healthy pregnancy occurring.

 

Then you will benefit the MOST from prioritising your egg quality now.





So what can you do?

 

It takes 3 months for eggs to develop and mature for ovulation, giving us this "window of opportunity" to make effective diet and lifestyle changes that have been proven to impact positively on egg quality and increase our chances of pregnancy.

 

Here are the 5 main pillars that you need to be thinking about to support your egg health:

 

  1. Optimise your micronutrient intake

 

A deficiency in any nutrient (e.g. zinc, iron, vitamin D), can impact on DNA modification in egg health and development (4). If you haven’t already then I highly suggest some biochemistry testing to rule out deficiencies. It’s important to remember that only a few nutrients can actually be measured by blood test though so a nutrient analysis with a dietitian is crucial, particularly for nutrients such as zinc which has been shown as crucial for occyte maturation. 


  1. Support mitochondrial function 

 Mitochondrial function is influenced by your nutrient intake- particularly sugar and fat. Keeping your sugar intake to an absolute minimum is a crucial step in ensuring a healthy production of energy for your eggs to mature and develop.

 

It's also important to eat a variety of unsaturated fats (e.g. oily fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds) and limit your intake of saturated fats (e.g. butter, coconut oil, fatty cuts of meat). This can be done through simple swaps and altering your current meals- you don't have to overhaul your entire diet to see positive effects!

 

  1. Reduce oxidative stress

 

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are toxic end-products that induce oxidative stress. Elevated levels in have been associated with a reduced ovarian response and a reduced chance of pregnancy (5). 


Avoiding overheating and burning or charcoal food, and opting for cooking methods like boiling or poaching when possible, are key steps to reduce AGE exposure and oxidative stress.


We can also counteract the effect of oxidative stress by including more antioxidant rich foods in the diet. An anti-inflammatory diet, mediterranean-style eating, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and a diverse range of grains and seeds has been proven to increase our intake of antioxidants and supports egg health immensely.  


  1. Balance your Omega 3:6 fatty acid ratio

 

We hear alot about “reducing inflammation”in the diet and while there are more obvious approaches to support this such as reducing sugar and alcohol, a huge player in this is usually overlooked; the omega 3: omega 6 fatty acid ratio.  


High intakes of omega 6 have been shown to reduce reproductive function while high intakes of omega 3 has been shown to prolong reproductive function into advanced reproductive age (6). 


  1. Take supplements that actually work!

 

As much as we would love everyone to meet all of their nutrient requirements through diet alone, sometimes supplementation is necessary- especially when it comes to trying for a baby. Correct supplementation can support you to meet your micronutrient requirements, balance your omega fatty acid ratio, enhance antioxidant intake, and fill in the necessary gaps that can show in some situations.

 

I can’t stress enough the importance of your supplement regimen being personalised as without the best dosage, timing, and nutrient combinations- you can waste valuable time and money on supplements that just aren’t helping your fertility.


Your next steps...

 

To make sure that you have the best possible egg quality and chance of conceiving, I am offering only to those who book in January of 2024, a BONUS nutrient analysis review and report and FREE mediterranean diet meal plan with any comprehensive initial consultation, AND a saving of $20!

 

Along with this you will receive..

  • A personalised diet and lifestyle action plan tailored to your specific dietary preferences and fertility needs

  • A bespoke supplement plan

  • A complete understanding of all biochemistry and results

  • A step by step plan to supporting you to improve your fertility naturally and fall pregnant 

There are only a few spaces remaining for these appointments in January so BOOK NOW to avoid missing out. Available through this exclusive link only! 


Let’s make 2024 your year of incredible health and fertility and get your journey to starting or growing your family fast tracked. 


Alex Cameron

NZRD, Singapore APD

 




References:

(1) Heffner LJ. Advanced maternal age--how old is too old? N Engl J Med. 2004;351(19):1927-9.

(2) (Davies PSW, Funder J, Palmer DJ, Sinn J, Vickers MH, Wall CR. Early life nutrition and the opportunity to influence long-term health: an Australasian perspective. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. 2016;7(5):440-8. 4. Stuppia L, Franzago M, Ballerini P, Gatta V, Antonucci I. Epigenetics and male reproduction: the consequences of paternal lifestyle on fertility, embryo development, and children lifetime health. Clin Epigenetics. 2015;7:120-.

(3) Heffner LJ. Advanced maternal age--how old is too old? N Engl J Med. 2004;351(19):1927-9.

(4) Kim AM, Vogt S, O'Halloran TV, Woodruff TK. Zinc availability regulates exit from meiosis in maturing mammalian oocytes. Nat Chem Biol. 2010;6(9):674-81.

(5) Jinno M, Takeuchi M, Watanabe A, Teruya K, Hirohama J, Eguchi N, et al. Advanced glycation end-products accumulation compromises embryonic development and achievement of pregnancy by assisted reproductive technology. Hum Reprod. 2011;26(3):604-10.

(6) Nehra D, Le HD, Fallon EM, Carlson SJ, Woods D, White YA, et al. Prolonging the female reproductive lifespan and improving egg quality with dietary omega-3 fatty acids. Aging Cell. 2012;11(6):1046- 54.


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