The term 'gut microbiota' refers to the tens of trillions of microorganisms, including at least 1000 different species of known bacteria, that live in our gut. Your gut microbiota is made up of both good and bad microbes, and it plays a central role in your reproductive health.
If your microbiota are out of balance, inflammation and oxidative stress are elevated and this has a negative impact upon the development of eggs and sperm, and pregnancy progression.
Dysbiosis occurs when there is an imbalance in the good and bad microbiota and this can impair reproductive health.
This imbalance in the pro- and anti-inflammatory microbes can be triggered by stress, antibiotic consumption, consuming processed foods, low dietary fibre intake, sleep disturbances and physical inactivity.
Dysbiosis is a hallmark of conditions affecting fertility such as:
⚆ polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
⚆ low testosterone in males
⚆ oestrogen driven conditions
⚆ underlying inflammation and oxidative stress, often seen in unexplained infertility
An imbalance in your gut community weakens the integrity of the gut wall. This increase in intestinal permeability allows for bacterial components to enter circulation causing a metabolic endotoxaemia.
An increase in circulating levels of bacterial endotoxin contributes to inflammation in the ovary, reduce progesterone production1 and increase levels of sperm DNA damage2. This ultimately results in poor quality eggs and sperm.
This disruption of the gut barrier also has negative consequences for pregnancy, increasing systemic inflammation and insulin resistance in pregnancy1.
Reinforcing the intestinal barrier reduces metabolic endotoxin levels improving egg and sperm quality, implantation potential and provides a means to manipulate maternal metabolism3.
Imbalances in gut microbiota promote disruption of the gut barrier through an increase in inflammation. Missing out on sleep, not managing stress, illness, eating a poor diet and being overweight contribute to this gut imbalance. This imbalance, or dysbiosis, negatively impacts reproductive health.
Improving the diversity, or the variety of different species of your gut microbiota, has profound benefits for conception and beyond.
The more diverse your gut microbiome, the merrier. And the more fertile!
Our scientifically selected ingredients are proven to promote microbiota diversity, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, strengthening the intestinal barrier.
Our key gut diversity promoting ingredient is 100% natural cane fibre powered by phytocell™. This plant based resistant starch is a proven prebiotic containing active phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Greater diversity in your microbiome is fueled with prebiotics high in resistant starch.
With a crystallinity index higher than banana starch4, cane fibre is stronger and more resistant to breakdown when transiting through the intestinal tract so it can be used as fuel in the lower gut where your microbiota reside.
This proven prebiotic increases the expression of proteins that hold your gut cells together to make a strong barrier against any endotoxic bacteria.
The breakdown of resistant starch results in the positive shifts in microbiome composition and increased production of important short chain fatty acids such as butyrate5.
Butyrate is an anti-inflammatory agent known to repair and enhance barrier function of intestinal epithelial cells. It can also regulate metabolism by influencing hormones involved in food intake, gut motility and insulin secretion, proving beneficial for fertility.
Inulin is an incredibly effective prebiotic proven to increase counts of Bifidobacteria which produce thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin K which are all essential for healthy sperm and egg development.
Promoting changes in gut bacterial populations and supporting the growth of beneficial Lactobaccilus8, inulin improves insulin sensitivity and stimulates the production of large quantities of short chain fatty acids.
In conditions such as PCOS where the microbiota drive inflammation, inulin promotes diversity reducing inflammation and improving disease pathology9.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for sperm and egg viability and function. They play an important role in controlling inflammation as they contain compounds used to make resolvins that quickly resolve inflammation. Optimal dietary intake is associated with positive outcomes for conception and assisted reproductive treatments like IVF.
Flaxseed is incorporated into Fertile Gut as a rich plant based source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid. The anti-inflammatory action and anti-oxidative capacity of this compound promote intestinal health10.
Omega-3 fatty acids exert a positive action by reducing dysbiosis in gut microbiota composition, increasing the production of anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids11.