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The link between food intolerances, anti-sperm antibodies

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Prof. Oladapo Ashiru

The link between food intolerances and anti-sperm antibodies is now well established. Studies have found that women with multiple allergies and food intolerances were more likely to miscarry. An overactive immune system is more likely to attack its body cells. From an immunological point of view, an embryo and sperm cell are foreign bodies. But Mother Nature was brilliant; she programmed our immune systems to distinguish between an everyday invader and a sperm cell or embryo. Th2 cytokines orchestrate a healthy and healthy immune response to embryo or sperm cells. They suppress your killer cells (that is what they are called) to leave the embryo unharmed. Many pregnant women are sick wound healers because of this protection and can come down badly with a cold or flu. Your natural protection has been suppressed so that your baby can develop properly.

Th1 cytokines orchestrate an abnormal immune response to the implantation of the fertilised egg. Rather than suppressing your killer cells, they stimulate their activity. It can lead to defects and the loss of the fetus. The two most widely spread food intolerances are gluten and dairy. I recommend all my patients have an IgG immunoglobulin test done to check dairy and gluten intolerant. But since most people have some level of allergy to gluten and dairy, it’s advisable to avoid gluten and dairy altogether during the preconception and pregnancy period.

There is a common misconception that egg and sperm quality cannot be improved. It is possible to improve your egg and sperm; however, it takes 120 days. It takes approximately 120 days for eggs to mature and sperm to develop. During the generation and maturation of gamete cells — sperm and ovum — that form an embryo, everything that you and your partner ingest, inhale or are exposed to will influence the health of your eggs and sperm for better or worse, and the ultimate quality of the genetic building blocks you pass onto your child.

A baby is a 50-50 product of their parents. Therefore, optimizing the quality of eggs and sperm is of paramount importance. Sperm disorders contribute to 40 per cent of infertility cases. Women who suffer from recurrent miscarriages have a spouse with low sperm counts and visually abnormal sperm. Therefore both partners should detox, follow a fertility diet, take preconception supplements, and avoid reproductive toxins discussed in this article for a minimum of 4 months before conception.

Avoid coffee, smoking, and alcohol

You may not want to hear this, but drinking coffee decreases fertility. An extensive study from Connecticut found as little as 1 cup of coffee per day increases the risk of not conceiving by 55 per cent. If you have two to three cups per day, that risk rises to 100 per cent and continues to improve with an additional cup up to 176 per cent. And did you know that women who drank coffee before and during pregnancy had twice the risk of miscarriage?

Alcohol is harmful to women’s eggs, men’s sperm, and as little as one glass can reduce fertility by 50 per cent! It can further damage the developing embryo and may result in miscarriage. And although it’s been known for a long time that drinking while pregnant is a no-no, drinking before pregnancy has been largely ignored. It doesn’t stop with coffee and alcohol. Smoking and recreational drugs can also reduce your odds of conception. A study tested the effects of cigarette smoking on semen quality in men and found that sperm motility (propel forward) decreased in light smokers. In contrast, heavy smoking produced abnormal sperm shapes. Scientists have discovered that quitting smoking may increase sperm count in men who quit smoking for five to 15 months 50 per cent to 800 per cent, respectively.

Take the correct quality preconception and pregnancy supplement. Regardless of whether you are eating organic produce and a healthy diet, you are unlikely to be getting all the nutrients your body needs for optimal fertility from your food; this is why supplementation is essential.

Getting pregnant and growing a new human being with your reserves requires a surplus of nutrients and energy. Pregnancy is a luxury, a splurge of energy and nutrients in your body’s accounting terms. Some of the critical nutrients for fertility are:

Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, Calcium, B12, B6, Folic acid, Vitamin C, Omega-3 fats

 IVF does not address the root cause of infertility

Conventional IVF and other assisted reproductive technology treatments don’t address the causes of infertility. These causes include nutritional deficiencies, toxic exposure, stress, food intolerances, allergies, and immune deficiencies. These subtle but critical factors interact synergistically to impact your eggs and sperm quality, affecting your ability to conceive and the health of your embryo.

 IVF as the final option after pre-conception care

IVF should be the last option after all-natural treatment options have been exhausted. It should never be the first option. The rate of success of IVF is (on average) 25 per cent per single attempt. Studies show that by following a natural preconception programme before attempting IVF, the success rate increased to 55 per cent per the only attempt. I always advise couples to undertake a pre-conception programme as a first step and reserve IVF as a final option. Many cases of infertility can be treated without IVF. However, we recommend that each attempt’s success rate is almost doubled if IVF is necessary by combining it with a natural pre-conception programme.



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