Zinc and female fertility - Fruitful Way
There is a lot of talk these days about the micronutrients you need to make sure your body is in tiptop shape for conceiving. Zinc is one of these universal trace elements; not only does it reside in every body cell, but it’s essential for reproductive health. So, listen up, women … and men.
Zinc for women: getting your body ready to conceive
Zinc plays a role in ovulation and the menstrual cycle, which means that zinc deficiencies can make it harder to get pregnant. Low zinc levels have been linked to hormonal imbalances, which can cause ovarian function problems, irregularities in menstruation or even anovulation (in which women don’t ovulate).
Even during preconception, zinc depletion has been shown to severely disrupt egg maturation. Down the road, this deficiency can impact fertilization and egg preimplantation development.
Zinc and fertility: an essential element during the earliest staging of conception
Indeed, zinc’s role is critical in the initial stages of cell division – after the egg is fertilized by sperm – and for placental development. Zinc is a star player in DNA synthesis, protecting DNA from damage, for higher chances of normal fetal development.
Low plasma zinc concentrations reduce placental zinc transport and may affect the supply of zinc to the fetus, putting at risk the fetus’s natural growth trajectory.
Zinc and pregnancy: why the nutrient should be on your radar
Even moderate zinc deficiencies are associated with intestinal disorders, which can interfere with food absorption. So, if you’re eating for two, you want to make sure you have enough nutrition for two.
A common problem
The World Health Organization estimates that over 80% of pregnant women worldwide have inadequate zinc intake. Studies have suggested that maternal zinc deficiency may compromise infant development and lead to poor birth outcomes.
The take-away from these and other scientific findings is that once you do get pregnant, it is a good idea to continue taking zinc to help prevent miscarriage, reduce chances of premature delivery and improve birth weight.
A word about zinc for men
The subject of zinc benefits for men is often the topic of male fertility conversation because zinc helps prevent erectile dysfunction and is important for semen and testosterone production levels, sperm count and sperm motility. This micronutrient is also required for basic health, helping strengthen the immune system and treat the common cold.
Getting your dietary supply of zinc
Animal proteins, such as seafood, lean beef and turkey, are foods rich in zinc, as are seeds and nuts, such as sesame seeds, cashews and pumpkin seeds, and legumes, including lentils and garbanzo beans.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to up your intake of zinc, either through diet planning or by taking regular supplements.
Read more about Fruitful Way’s nutritional supplements containing zinc.