There are few things more emotionally taxing on a couple than trying to have a baby and being unable to do so. Couples, often at the end of their wits’ end, will turn to fertility specialists with desperation and open wallets; this desperation often leads them to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on treatments, sometimes without success.
Treatment for infertility has turned into quite the business in the United States, with an estimated $2 billion being spent annually. Approximately 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 44 have trouble getting or staying pregnant; this amounts to over 6 million women in the United States who suffer from infertility. Infertility isn’t limited to women; in approximately one third of all cases, the problem lies with the man. In another third of the cases, problems with both male and female fertility are to blame. In short, it is a big problem.
There are a number of factors thought to cause infertility. In men, problems with sperm production, sperm delivery, genetic factors or cancer treatments can all affect fertility. In addition, lifestyle choices, such as nutrition, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to environmental toxins can all play a role at reducing a man’s fertility. In women, disorders such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), are to blame. Damage to fallopian tubes, ovulation disorders, or uterine fibroids can also be implicated in infertility.
Something may be missing, however, from the commonly accepted causes of infertility, in both men and women. An interesting thing to note about fertility is what every farmer knows; mycotoxins can have a profound effect on the fertility of animals. The mycotoxins zearalenone, aflatoxin and ergotamine can all have a negative influence on the reproductive performance of animals; these mycotoxins are common contaminants of animal feed – which include grains and corn.
If one looks at the standard diet of Americans, one will find a diet wrought with corn and grain products. Research has shown that these food products all contain trace amounts of mycotoxins. Could it be that prolonged exposure to the environmental toxins is having an effect on fertility? According to research done on animals, it is certainly possible.
So, can your lifestyle influence your fertility? It is already noted that alcohol and cigarette use (two things with intimate links to mycotoxins, themselves) can affect fertility. But another lifestyle choice may have a profound impact as well. If you are experiencing fertility problems, it may be good to take a look at your diet. Is your diet filled with foods that are potentially filled with mycotoxins? It may be time to try a Phase 1 diet. Following a few months of an anti-fungal diet, you may find your fertility problems to have disappeared.