The focus when talking about fertility is often solely on reproductive organs but did you know that what is happening in your gut right now is either helping or hindering your chance of getting pregnant?
Optimising gut health is an effective strategy to improve egg and sperm quality which means a better chance of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy!
Eggs and sperm are essential for the baby making process - what does the gut have to do with it?
Our gut contains over 100 trillion microorganisms. This incredible ecosystem living down below contributes to essential functions of the body including how efficient our metabolism is, how we handle stress, how we extract energy and nutrients from food and even our heart health.
Our gut microbiota shapes our health, AND our fertility.
These populations living in our gut thrive off prebiotic fibre. In breaking down these special microbiota accessible carbohydrates, they produce beneficial compounds known as short chain fatty acids. One of the important short-chain fatty acids for fertility is butyrate.
Butyrate is incredibly potent at dampening inflammation, strengthening the gut barrier, regulating metabolism, optimising brain health and regulating immune function. The mechanisms of action of butyrate are incredibly beneficial for fertility as they dampen processes we know compromise egg and sperm quality, and the progression of a healthy pregnancy.
How does butyrate increase my chance of conception?
It is an Anti-inflammatory
Inflammation is not all bad, but if you don't have enough good microbiota, then the immune system gets disrupted. With this imbalance, cells of your gut might suffer from inflammatory and oxidative damage.
Butyrate can act as an anti-inflammatory agent, inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory proteins that damage eggs and sperm, and upregulating anti-inflammatory proteins for protection against inflammation.
Elevated levels of inflammation and oxidative stress negatively affect sperm and egg quality, reducing fertilisation and pregnancy rates.
Detecting chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress are not routine procedures in fertility pathology, so often the only sign of these underlying conditions may be poor egg quality, reduced fertilisation rates, recurrent implantation failure or miscarriage. Dampening inflammation is a great way to improve your chance of pregnancy.
It Strengthens the Gut Barrier
Butyrate is known to repair and strengthen the gut barrier. When our gut is damaged, levels of toxins in the bloodstream are elevated. Elevation of these toxins damages sperm, reduces egg quality and impacts embryo development.
The beneficial short chain fatty acid butyrate increases the expression of genes that reinforce the mucosal surface in the gut, leading to the enhanced protection against pathogens and a reduction in circulating toxins. As a primary fuel used by gut cells, butyrate can strengthen the bonds between gut cells, benefitting fertility.
It Regulates the Immune System
A well-regulated immune system involves cells moving to areas of the body where they are needed, adhering to surfaces so they can do their work, producing more immune cells when required, and controlled cell retirement once their job is complete.
Butyrate influences all of these steps, including immune cell migration, adhesion, and cellular functions such as proliferation and apoptosis. It can also help fight infection through the production of antimicrobial peptides.
It Helps Regulate Blood Glucose
There is a positive relationship between circulating butyrate levels and better control of blood sugars. This is because butyrate improves insulin sensitivity. Regulating blood sugar levels has been shown to improve egg and sperm quality. Improving insulin sensitivity and better blood sugar control is essential for successfully managing PCOS.
Create a Fertile Gut
Your gut microbiota thrive on prebiotic fibre, such as fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides, and omega-3s as it enables them to produce beneficial short chain fatty acids that enhance fertility.
We love improving gut health to help couples get pregnant. We also know that it can be difficult to ensure you are getting the most effective prebiotic fibre each and every day. Fertile Gut has been scientifically formulated for you to add proven plant based prebiotic fibre and omega-3s to your day to optimise your fertility.