Fertility after 40 and miscarriage prevention, a podcast with Iva Keene

Recently I had a chance to interview Iva Keene from Natural Fertility Prescription and she shared a lot of her wisdom with us!

We discussed:

1. The basics of a fertility diet and simple ways to add nutrients to the way you currently eat.

2. Fertility after 40, a few of the factors that come into play

The reproductive system is not crucial to your survival, so as such, the body will not give a lot of energy and a lot of nutrients to it unless it has a lot to spare. The heart, the lungs, the brain, these are all the key organs that get the nutrients first.”

3. Tests that are important, things like –

  • heavy metals
  • hair mineral analysis

4. How to decrease the negative affects associated with artificial reproductive technologies, including the nutrients that are really important to sustaining the health of the egg and sperm.

5. We discuss a couple ways to reduce the possibility of a miscarriage as well as what you can do after a miscarriage to facilitate balanced hormones and fertility.

Iva is also doing a fertility retreat at Sanoviv Medical Institute in Baja, California from September 19-25, 2013. It’s a five star health resort that serves all organic foods and some of the latest testing, where medical doctors and naturopaths work together. As a bonus, it’s also very much a resort and offers many spa services. Couples will be able to work with Iva and the staff to be able to get to the bottom of their fertility issues.

Listen in HERE: Iva Keene, part one

Iva Keene, part two

(click on the link above to listen in or right click and save to your computer)

 

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Should you eat cinnamon?

Cinnamon is often used by women (commonly those with PCOS and/or diabetes) for help in stabilizing the blood sugar, using about 1/2 teaspoon per day. Many nutritionists also claim that it helps to reduce inflammation and decrease appetite. Chinese medicine says that cinnamon helps improve pelvic blood flow, is warming, and can help increase a mans sperm count.

But could the type of cinnamon you consume be harming your body?

A few months ago I was chatting with a friend when she brought up the topic of cinnamon, and it was the first time I’d heard about “true” cinnamon.

After a bit of digging around on google, and looking through my own cupboards, I found that there is in fact a couple different kinds of cinnamon. Most notably:

Ceylon Cinnamon

  • grown in Sri Lanka
  • light brown in color
  • thinner and softer
  • more mild in flavor
  • the inside of a stick is filled like a cigar
  • contains a minimal amount of coumarin (which thins the blood)

(I buy my ceylon cinnamon from Mountain Rose Herbs – I love the quality and flavor)

Cassia Cinnamon

  • grown in China, Vietnam, Indonesia
  • darker brown in color
  • thicker and hard
  • inside of the stick is hollow
  • more intense flavor
  • much higher levels of coumarin
  • this is the type most often found in the US

In the picture below, you can see the difference in the sticks of these two kinds of cinnamon. The Ceylon (or sweet) on the left, the cassia on the right.

dangers of cassia cinnamon

Much of the problem with the less expensive (which is why it’s used more) cassia cinnamon, lies in the coumarin content. Coumarin is a phytochemical that flavors the food source. (it’s also found in strawberries, lavender, cherries, and sweet clover and other plant-based foods to some extent)

While coumarin looks like it may have some health benefits; blood thinning, anti-fungal, and helps to prevent against tumors, in excess it can also do damage to the body as it is moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys and could cause uterine contractions. A few different web-based sources even comment that some European health agencies have warned against high consumption of cassia due to the coumarin content.

There may also be a connection from cassia to allergies, due to the dust mites in the bark.

So the idea of cassia cinnamon consumption bothers me in a couple of ways.

1. The fact that it could bother or be toxic to the liver in any way is a cause for concern to me. Because the liver is so important to our body’s detoxification system, if it’s overloaded or incapacitated in any way, we can’t get rid of environmental toxins or excess and old hormones.

2. People often take medicinal amounts of cinnamon each day, some people who contact me take over a tablespoon per day. (I don’t recommend that by the way) If taken long-term at such high amounts, the toxicity to the liver may become a reality.

Now, I don’t think that in small amounts that cassia would be a big issue. But when you’re using it to try to reverse or control physical ailments, you’d be best to search out Ceylon, or sweet, cinnamon. Personally I buy sweet cinnamon from Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my home use, but I don’t worry about the small amount I might consume outside of the home.

Have you ever heard of the problems cassia might cause?

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Herbs for Fertility {podcast}

Herbs can bring relief to a body that is ill as well as help to balance the hormone system. In this podcast you can join me as I speak to Jessie Hawkins, master herbalist and founder of Vintage Remedies. We talk about the benefit of herbs and she discusses different herbal options based on diagnosis.

Listen now:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or right-click and “save link as” to download to your computer: Herbs and Fertility with Jessie Hawkins, MH

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Fertility {podcast}

The following podcast with Dr. Drew Nesbitt, Acupuncturist and practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is included in part in my book, Naturally Knocked Up. I’ll post it here in full, you can either listen now or download it and listen later.

acupuncture and infertilityDr. Drew has specialized in woman’s health for over five years, helping his clients with Fertility Enhancement,  Menopause Relief, and Menstrual Health.

Join us as we talk about Traditional Chinese Medicine (how it’s done, why it works) and nutrition.

 

Listen now:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or right-click and “save link as” to download to your computer TCM podcast

 

For more podcasts relating to fertility and real food health, check out the table of contents.

 

Have you had good success with acupuncture? Let us know!

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Natural Fertility and Zinc

Zinc is actually one of the most studied nutrients when it comes to fertility.

Much of the reason behind that statement most likely stem from the fact that zinc is an essential component of genetic material. This means that a deficiency in zinc can cause chromosomal changes in either partner which in turn causes reduced fertility and greater risk of miscarriage.

What is Zinc?

Zinc is basically an essential mineral that your body uses in all sorts of ways, and it is needed daily to replenish your body’s supply. It’s so essential that it’s found in every cell of our bodies.

  • it helps in the production of DNA,
  • assists in wound healing,
  • is important for hormone production,
  • boosts your immune system,
  • helps in supporting the balance of our blood sugar levels because when we’re low or deficient in this mineral, our bodies insulin response slows and our blood sugar becomes harder to stabilize,
  • it’s required in the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest and break down foods,

It also directly affects your fertility.

For women, zinc is important in helping your body utilize the reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. A deficiency can lead to hormone imbalance, abnormal ovarian development, and menstrual irregularity. When your body is low on zinc it also inhibits the metabolism of protein, which in turn can lower egg quality.

For a man, it can greatly impact the sperm count since zinc is found in high concentrations in the sperm. It is also needed to make the outer layer and the tail of the sperm. If a man is deficient in zinc, it can affect his sperm quality and quantity.

zinc and fertility

photo credit: Brian Jackson

Unfortunately zinc is not stored in the body well so you must keep up a constant consumption of it. The best ways to get zinc naturally are to eat plenty of:

  • beef, venison, and poultry
  • eggs
  • whole grains
  • whole fat dairy products
  • seeds like sunflower and pumpkin
  • molasses and maple syrup

The recommended daily allowance is only 11mg for men and 8mg for women, though these amounts may be to low to help boost fertility and may only work well for those who already have an ample supply of zinc.

For boosting fertility I’ve seen amounts anywhere from 25 mgs to 50 mgs per day. Although long term use above 40 mgs has also been shown to cause deficiencies in other minerals (like copper), so if you plan on taking large doses, I’d talk to your doctor or get tested to see if you have a deficiency first.

Gluten and Zinc

When I taped our podcast with Dr. Tom O’Bryan (an expert on gluten intolerance and how it affects reproduction), one of the things he said really made me think. You see…..I’ve often known that a gluten intolerance or celiac can affect a woman’s fertility and ability to carry a pregnancy, but I never thought to much about the male side of the coin.

He told me that when the villi in the intestines are worn down from a gluten intolerance, that zinc is the first nutrient we lose the ability to absorb.

Yup, just let that sink in a minute.

So if someone is intolerant to gluten, before it’s even noticed, before you have any symptoms, you start losing the ability to absorb zinc. And with zinc so high on the list for important nutrients for men, this has to have drastic consequences.

Testing for Zinc Deficiencies

One of the other things I learned from talking with Dr. O’Bryan was that there was a way to test for zinc deficiencies at home by using something called zinc talley.

This stuff is supposed to taste horrible.

But if you’re deficient in zinc, you won’t taste a thing!

How to test:

  • Take about 1 tablespoon of the zinc talley liquid and swish in your mouth for 5 – 10 seconds. (you can then either spit it out or swallow it)

If you can’t taste anything, seems like it was just water, you have a zinc deficiency.

If you want to spit it out right away and it has a strong flavor, you have enough zinc in your system.

And of course, if you’re somewhere between those you can figure that the more you taste, the more zinc you have in your body. If you notice you’re deficient you can supplement with extra zinc and then test every once in a while to gauge your zinc levels.

 While fertility issues are usually not attributed to just one thing, have you ever thought about zinc as a needed nutrient?
Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.