What is the Best Fish Oil for Fertility?
You’ve likely heard how good fish oil can be for your heart. Maybe you haven’t heard that important connections have been found between the use of fish oil supplements and fertility in both men and women. If you have struggled with infertility or are trying to conceive, stay with us and we’ll help you find the best fish oil for fertility.
What are omega-3s?
Omega-3s are a type of fat that is important in the health of the brain, heart, and many other systems in the human body. Many types of fats the body needs can be synthesized, or created, by the body from other materials, but that’s not the case with omega-3 fatty acids.
These fats are important in the formation and function of cell membranes, which act as a barrier between cells and the outside world. Since your whole body is made of cells, the health of cell membranes plays a huge role in health from head to toe.
Where can you find omega-3s?
These polyunsaturated fats come mostly in three forms: ALAs from plant matter, and DHAs and EPAs which come mainly from fish and other aquatic life.
Fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring are commonly identified sources of DHAs and EPAs. Microscopic ocean life like krill are also well-known sources of marine omega-3s. It is recommended that the average person take in between two and three servings of fish weekly.
You can also find ALAs in plants. Leafy green vegetables and flaxseed are some of the most commonly listed, but simple canola oil also contains plenty of ALAs.
Who can Benefit from Fish Oil Supplements?
Most people who consume an average Western diet could benefit from a fish oil supplement. Most people aren’t getting the optimum amount of fish and other seafood in their diet. So they could probably use more DHA and EPA.
People with a history of heart disease (including high blood pressure and cholesterol levels), brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, or those suffering from fertility issues, both male and female, may also benefit.
Best Fish Oil for Fertility for Women
There are several reasons why fish oil may be good for women looking to increase fertility and support a healthy pregnancy. For one, women who are going through fertility treatments often experience mood issues, and omega-3s may help them feel more balanced.
Fish oil’s heart health benefits are also valuable when trying to conceive. Some sources say that omega-3s help to regulate hormones that relate to fertility and the ability to conceive, as well. There are several other potential benefits that have not been thoroughly tested.
Omega-3s are crucial to a healthy pregnancy and baby’s development, so taking fish oil while trying to conceive is often recommended by doctors to ensure that DHA and EPA levels are optimal.
Fish Oil and Pregnancy
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many of the fish that pregnant women are instructed not to eat. At the same time, we know how very important adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids in pregnant mothers is to a developing baby’s health.
For this reason, fish oil supplements that have been quality checked are perfect for providing omega-3s to expectant mothers. They can get all of the health benefits of the recommended 2-3 weekly servings of fish without the potentially harmful contaminants (like mercury) that come with it.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common issue during pregnancy which may be helped by fish oil, as well as gestational diabetes.
DHA is also very important in nursing mothers for the same reason it is important for pregnant mothers. Babies, whether they’re born yet or not, need DHA to develop a healthy brain and eyes. Since the brain does most of its growing and developing in the first few years of life, skimping on DHA is not ideal.
Fish Oil for Male Fertility
As it turns out, the DHA in fish oil supplements is crucial to the health and motility of sperm. Studies performed in mice lacking DHA have shown that a crucial part of sperm, the acrosome (cell membranes that fuse and hold enzymes to help sperm penetrate egg for fertilization) cannot form.
Once DHA was returned to sufficient levels in these mice, the formation of the acrosome and therefore the maturation of the sperm was returned to normal.
Though this particular study doesn’t provide definitive proof that DHA supplementation helps male infertility, it is less risky and less expensive than many fertility treatments. I’d say fish oil supplements are probably worth a shot under these circumstances. Many IVF centers recommend it.
Other Fish Oil Benefits
Fish oil supplementation has several proven heart benefits. It’s also great for maintaining a healthy brain and cognitive function. Some science points to fish oil being a natural treatment for inflammation, which is thought to be the cause of many health issues.
Finding the Best Fish Oil for Fertility
The best supplements will contain at least 1,000 mg of fish oil per daily serving, with 2,000 mg being optimal. Supplements should contain at least 200 mg of DHA and 220 mg of EPA in each serving. Also, USP certified supplements are great since they are thoroughly tested by independent agencies.
Our favorite in the best fish oil for fertility contest is, hands down, the Coromega gel packs. Their adequate but not over the top dose and ratios of omega-3s, plus the unique, adaptable delivery system makes them a fantastic choice at a fantastic value.
If the gel packs aren’t for you, Nature’s Branch’s version is great, too. As always, contact your doctor before using fish oil supplements or any other supplements for fertility or any other use. It’s important that your doctor know about any holistic remedies, supplements, or OTC medications you may be taking.
If you have any questions about using fish oil for fertility purposes, or any other health questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask us here at Health Ambition! We’ll always do our best to provide you with the facts and not the hype.