And yet, in spite of the chronological age and poor prognostic outlook, many of these women go on to improve egg quality, conceive with their own eggs and give birth to healthy babies. Those who do often made some changes to their diet and lifestyles. They followed them religiously for a minimum of a year.
In case you're wondering what causes poor egg quality, one particular substance has been on the research radar for a good decade. It’s been linked to tooth decay, acne, diabetes, weight gain, poor immunity, ADD (attention deficit disorder), hyperactivity and aggression, cancer proliferation and now aging! You may have guessed what I’m talking about – SUGAR.
Sugar and Egg QualitySome of the poor egg quality symptoms are the inability to conceive and frequent miscarriages. That's why knowing how to improve egg quality and quantity is very important, especially when you're trying to conceive, whether you're still young or already in your 40s. And when it comes to egg quality, you'll be surprised that there's a massive connection between sugar and your egg health.
Here's how sugar affects your egg quality:
1. Sugar Causes You to Age and Lowers Your Egg QualitySugar lowers your egg quality through a process called glycation. What is glycation and what’s it got to do with your cells?
From diabetic research, we have learned that when you consume sugar (glucose) – there is a chemical reaction (glycation) that takes place between sugar molecules and your fat and protein molecules. As this reaction is not controlled by the enzymes, glycation does not take place in designated areas of the cell where the sugar molecule can be put to good use. Instead, it happens all over the cell, which causes the cell to malfunction.
When the cell malfunctions, it leads to poor intake of oxygen, water and nutrients and lowered ability to expel toxic substances and free radicals. Consequently, this can lead to DNA damage and death of the cell.
This glycation process, like anything in the body, creates so-called ‘end products’. Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs), the end products of glycation, affect the tissue by making protein fibers stiff and malformed. However, not only do AGEs make your cells become stiff and cause them to malfunction — these end products also act as free radicals speeding up the aging process.
2. This Takes Place Wherever You Have Protein and Fat Cells. Hello, Eggs!A study published in Human Reproduction in 2011 linked the formation of AGEs to DNA damage in the eggs, lower fertilization rates, poor follicular and embryonic development and lower pregnancy rates IRRESPECTIVE of age! And this offers one explanation why many of our clients are diagnosed with “old eggs” even in their 30s! This negative effect on egg quality and age is especially pronounced in women with PCOS and diabetes.
Eggs need to be plump, with soft zona pellucida (the outer shell of the egg) so that sperm can easily penetrate it. Hardening of the zona pellucida gives the eggs a shriveled and old appearance and makes it very difficult for the sperm to penetrate it. This is when your RE will recommend ICSI or stay away from your eggs in the first place due to the high risk of chromosomal damage and poor egg division due to the DNA damage.
But Don't Despair! There Is an All-Natural Solution to Use to Improve Egg QualityThe good news is, old glycated collagen (which causes wrinkles and shriveled hard eggs) will eventually be eliminated. It will be recycled and reused for new collagen formation. But this time you need to make sure you are not bombarding your cells with S-u-g-a-r!
Sugar comes in many shapes and forms and is virtually unavoidable. Vegetables, fruit and whole grains all contain sugar. But there is good and bad sugar: Hi GI and Low GI variety. If you're thinking, “how can I improve egg quality naturally?”, the answer is plain and simple — avoid eating bad sugar.
You Need to Stay Clear of the HI Gi Variety, Especially:
- High-fructose corn syrup - increases the rate of glycation by 10 times!
- White sugar
- Simple carbs (white bread, white rice, white pasta)
How to Improve Egg Quality and Quantity: Green TeaGreen tea stimulates collagen synthesis and interferes with glycation and formation of AGEs! Make sure you drink the organic variety as pesticides are villains worthy of a whole article to themselves.
How to Improve Egg Quality After 40 (Or When You Have Poor Egg Quality): 6 Other TipsBesides cutting back on “bad sugar” and drinking green tea to improve egg quality, there are other things you can do to improve your egg quality naturally.
1. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet and Healthy Foods to Improve Female Egg Quality.Load up on your fruits and vegetables, whole gluten-free grains, berries, nuts and seeds — these contain vitamins and minerals that are essential in ensuring optimal egg health.
2. Try to Reduce Stress.While stress may not directly cause infertility, it may negatively affect your egg health. Also, according to one study, women who are stressed take longer to get pregnant — about 29% longer than women who are less stressed out.
3. Exercise and Maintain a Healthy Weight.Plenty of studies through the years have proven that exercise can help improve egg quality. Cutting back on calories to help maintain a healthy weight can also help improve egg quality, according to a Harvard study.
4. Reduce Your Exposure to Egg Toxins.Another way to help maintain good egg health is to minimize your exposure to substances that may be toxic to your egg. Some examples of what you should avoid include the following:
- toxins in consumer products (phthalates, BPA, PCBs, heavy metals and many more!)
- non-organic food
- heavy metals
- electromagnetic (EM) radiation
5. Take Supplements.There are supplements that have proven benefits for egg health. You can take these supplements with the advice of your physician or your natural fertility doctor. If you're wondering about what supplements to take to improve egg quality, here are some examples:
- CoQ10 (ubiquinone or ubiquinol)
- Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA)
- N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
6. Consult a Natural Fertility Specialist.Consulting a natural fertility specialist can help you gain expert advice when it comes to safe non-medical alternative treatments for poor egg health. Depending on your condition, you may be encouraged to do acupuncture, take natural herbs or other natural treatments.
The Take-Home PointRead the labels, avoid refined carbs, drink organic green tea and give your RE a surprise when your eggs 'miraculously' become younger again after at least four months on this all-natural treatment.
Bye-bye sugar and old eggs and welcome healthy fertilizable eggs! But be mindful that sugar is not the sole contributor to old eggs: alcohol, coffee, EM radiation, chemicals, stress etc, also play a role, so while it's good to be mindful of AGEs it's vital to follow the full egg rejuvenation program.
What are your thoughts on old eggs? Do you think it's possible to turn back the time and improve egg quality? Would love to hear from you!
Jinno, M., Takeuchi, M., Watanabe, A., Teruya, K., Hirohama, J., Eguchi, N., & Miyazaki, A. (2011). Advanced glycation end-products accumulation compromises embryonic development and achievement of pregnancy by assisted reproductive technology. Human reproduction, 26(3), 604-610. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21233108
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. (2014, March 24). Stress impacts ability to get pregnant, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324090406.htmhttps://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324090406.htm
McGreevey, S. (2011, July 7). Health & Medicine: Study suggests new strategy to prevent infertility, birth defects. The Harvard Gazette. Retrieved from: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/07/cut-calories-increase-egg-quality/