Originally published February 2 2011
How to lower FSH levels and improve fertility (Opinion)
by Iva Keene
(NaturalNews) High FSH levels are a sign of poor ovarian reserve, poor egg quality and a symptom of failure to ovulate (or anovulation).
A recent American study of 560 women who sought fertility treatments at the Yale University IVF program and the Montefiore Institute in New York revealed that blood type may play a factor in fertility. According to this study women with blood type O have, on average, higher FSH levels when compared to other blood types (A, B and AB). The researchers discovered that women with blood type O, who participated in this study, were twice as likely to have an elevated FSH level of above 10 (which is right on the cusp of fair to diminished ovarian reserve). The study also found that women with blood type A were the least likely to have elevated FSH levels. The reason suggested was that women with blood type A carry an A antigen which is missing in blood type O.
How can you lower high FSH levels and produce higher quality eggs?
First and foremost is optimal nutrition with adequate intake of protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates. Iron and vitamin E are crucial for healthy egg development and maturation. Many women are low in iron which leads to general fatigue, pallor and heavy periods.
The herbs Shatavari, Dong Quai and Rehmannia have traditionally been used to treat poor egg quality and are often prescribed to women in their late thirties and early forties.
Extra considerations for O blood types
Consider having an Anti-Mullerian hormone test. This test will show you what level of ovarian reserve you have (the amount of primordial follicles you have left). This, in turn, will indicate whether low ovarian reserve may be a cause of your elevated FSH levels.
Consider some dietary adjustments. Dr. D`Adamo, the pioneer of blood type diets, recommends that blood type O`s eat a predominantly paleolithic diet, which is largely meat based, and that they avoid dairy and wheat (gluten), among other things. Negative effects of dairy and gluten on human fertility have been well documented. For example the first country-to-country comparison study found that fertility declined with age faster in countries where women drank a lot of milk than in countries where they drank lower quantities of milk. Similarly women with undiagnosed intolerance to gluten are more likely to experience difficulties getting pregnant and to enter menopause earlier.
Conversely, one very large study found that following a diet high in animal protein may in fact increase your chances of ovulatory infertility. According to the Nurse`s Health Study from Harvard - the longest running study of woman`s health in America which started in 1976 and initially included over 120,000 married, 35-55 year old female nurses - ovulatory infertility was 39 percent more likely in women with the highest intake of animal protein then those with the lowest.
So what should you do?
The same Harvard study found that replacing 25 grams of animal protein with 25 grams of plant protein would lower your risk of ovulatory infertility by 50%.
Dr. D`Adamo discovered that O blood types should consume adequate amounts of iodine or sea algae (Kelp) as it acts as a blood tonic for O blood types and as such has a medicinal effect. What`s interesting to note here is the fact that iodine, selenium and zinc (found in Kelp) are crucial for healthy thyroid function. Ovaries have receptors for thyroid hormone thyroxine, which is required for follicle production.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine 66th Annual Meeting, Denver, Oct. 23-27, 2010.
D`Adamo PJ, Whitney C. Blood Type O Food, Beverage and Supplemental Lists. Berkley 2002.
Cramer Dw, Xu H, and Sahi T. Adult hypolactasia, milk consumption and age specific fertility. American Journal of Epidemiology 1994; 139:282-289.
Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner B, and Willett WC. Protein intake and ovulatory infertility. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2008 Feb;198(2):210.e1-7.
Keene, I. 2010, "Natural Fertility Prescription", Switzerland.
About the authorIva Keene ND is a leading fertility specialist and internationally recognized naturopath. She is the author of the Natural Fertility Prescription; a home study course that walks you through 8 steps to optimal fertility. Iva’s Blog, http://www.natural-fertility-prescription.co... , an invaluable resource for couples wanting to get pregnant, offers hundreds of tips for boosting fertility naturally and addressing infertility conditions.
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