Ensure Proper Nourishment

Posted by on Dec 1, 2013 in Conception | 0 comments

Ensuring a good balance of all your important nutrients is vital for a healthy conception. The first 4 weeks of pregnancy are also among the most important nutritionally, as this is when the neural tube develops and closes impacting the development of neural tube defects. As many women are unaware they are pregnant during these first 4 weeks, optimising your levels of these important nutrients prior to conception is extremely important. Nutrients such as zinc, can affect hormone levels and ovulation. A good supply of antioxidants are important to reduce the impact of oxidative stress and help improve the quality of your eggs. Adequate folate and choline vital prior to conception and in the first 4 weeks of pregnancy to help support proper neural tube development and prevent neural tube defects. Vitamin D can impact healthy bone development and iron, biotin, B6 and B12 are essential for the production of DNA for growth and development. Folate Healthy folate levels can help improve fertility and have been associated with a higher chance of conceiving naturally or through IVF. Folate is particularly important during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy, as this is when the neural tube, which connects the brain and spinal cord, develops and closes. This process relies heavily on adequate folate for proper development. Deficiency of this important nutrient at this stage of pregnancy results in a greatly increased risk of neural tube defects. As many women are unaware they are pregnant within the first 4 weeks, it’s vital to ensure healthy folate levels prior to conception. However, a recent Canadian study showed that 40% of women of reproductive age are still not achieving sufficient systemic levels of folate to prevent neural tube defects. The terms folic acid and folate are often used interchangeably, however folate is the nutrient utilized by the body and folic acid is the synthetic supplemental form of folate. New research shows that calcium folinate, quickly converts to ‘active’ folate in the body and therefore increases plasma folate more effectively. Taking 500mcg of calcium folinate, as found in Zycia Natal Nutrients, one month prior to conception and during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Choline Choline works alongside folate for healthy neural tube closure, therefore it’s vital to ensure optimal levels prior to conception and during pregnancy. Higher dietary choline intake has been associated with a reduction in the risk of having a child with neural tube defects. Choline also plays a critical role in the development of the brain, especially the center influencing memory, and may enhance lifelong learning, attention, concentration and memory function. Australian Guidelines recommend a minimum adequate intake of 440mg for pregnant women. Zinc Zinc supports the health and function of the female reproductive system. It plays an essential role in healthy ovulation and is necessary for fertilisation.  As the egg reaches maturation and prepares to be released during ovulation, major biochemical changes take place to prepare the egg for potential fertilisation.  This process is critically dependent on zinc.  Zinc levels within the egg have been shown to increase by 30 – 50% during this time and overall zinc levels within the body have a significant affect on the egg maturation process impacting fertilisation and embryo development.  Therefore maintaining optimal Zinc levels can help support chances of...

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