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  • Dr. Singh, ND

Scientific Review: Two Powerful Supplements for Fertility

With the research behind fertility treatments continually evolving, the importance of adjusting treatment plans to take in to account newly published research becomes very important. Dealing with Infertility, whether it is unexplained or the result of a specific condition, can be challenging as the success rates of currently available procedures continue to remain relatively low. And perhaps the answer to continue supporting an improvement in fertility success rates will require a healthy integrative approach to support these treatments.

A recently published review looked at all of the available studies to date on the use of two important supplements to support female fertility, and the results have important implications on how to help improve treatment strategies.

What Supplements are good for Fertility?

The first supplement analyzed was L-Carnitine. While this supplement has been used by some for quite some time, we now better understand how it can work, and who might benefit from using it. L-Carnitine is used in the cells of the body to help support cellular energy production by moving energy substrates in to the mitochondria (the energy production facility of a cell). It also works to quench free radicals produced by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). This is very important as ROS can damage the integrity of cells and the DNA of these cells. It can also help reduce cell death (apoptosis).

So how does L-Carnitine help with Infertility?

It can help increase the egg (follicle) production and maturation. The improvement in energy production and the protective effects L-Carnitine has as an antioxidant can improve the quality of these eggs. The higher the quality of the egg and its DNA, the greater likelihood of a successful conception and pregnancy.

The second supplement analyzed in the review was Acetyl-L-Carnitine, a form of L-Carnitine that can cross the blood brain barrier. This means that it is made available to the nerve cells in the brain and its glands.

How Does Acetyl-L-Carnitine help with Infertility?

Acetyl-L-Carnitine, once in the nerve cells, functions similar as L-Carnitine to help support energy production in the glands of the brain, such as the Pituitary and Hypothalamus glands.

When menstrual cycles are irregular, the secretion of two important hormones Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) becomes irregular as well. For example, when cycles are irregular after the discontinuation of the birth control pill or with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the normal secretion rhythm of these two hormones from the Pituitary gland becomes altered. The use of Acetyl-L-Carnitine helps to improve the production of both of the hormones LH and FSH.

It can also help to reduce the secretion of the hormone prolactin, which inhibits the secretion of FSH and LH.

The result of an increase in FSH and LH secretion and reduced prolactin secretion leads to a downstream increase in levels of estrogen and progesterone. This can help support better follicle production, ovulation, and growth of the uterine lining to support implantation.

The use of Acetyl-L-Carnitine was particular beneficial in Women with PCOS or irregular menstrual cycles, or in more severe cases, the absence of cycles (amenorrhea).

This article is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor or Primary Care Provider.

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