4 Steps to Increasing Egg Quality and the Mitochondria
Hey, do you feel that? That’s a nerve impulse! Have you ever wondered what fuels the energy to the nerve? It is fueled by mitochondria. These tiny powerhouses run the cellular functions of the body through ATP energy.
The largest visible cell to the naked eye is in the female body and is called a human egg cell and this cell stores the highest concentration of mitochondria, around 100,000! Purely amazing how much energy is stored in a single cell. But given the evolution process the cells have to go through to make a baby it makes sense the energy demand is substantial.
At birth women are born with one million eggs and with time (age), environmental factors such as oxidative stress, or traumas, egg quality and quantity decrease.
Four things you can start doing today that will improve your egg quality
1. Breathing: Firstly, mitochondria require oxygen to produce energy. Quit shallow breathing as it limits oxygen intake and increases oxidative stress, which is the hallmark of aging. Focus on breathing in through the nose to maximize lung capacity not shallow breathing but deep diaphragmatic breathing to feed our cells with rich oxygenated air.
2. Exercise: These little engines require oxygen to produce ATP energy. Deep breathing and not shallow breathing will feed more oxygen through the blood stream and increase more energy to improve egg quality. Mild to light exercise such as walking, light jogging, biking and yoga can help with profusion of blood to create biogenesis. This will in turn produce more mitochondria and make for better quality mitochondrial cells.
3. Diet: The way you eat is connected to egg quality. So, try saying to yourself when you are about to eat something, how will this positively benefit my mitochondrial health? Chinese medicine’s approach is through moderation which means these concepts are guidelines to help assist you with your diet choices. A balanced diet of protein, good quality fats as fats generate energy for our cells and fat is important for hormone production. Consumption of healthy fats are vital to reproductive health and are essential for healthy eggs. Carbohydrates are crucial for regulating blood glucose (blood sugars) levels for the day. However, if you are used to a diet heavy on carbohydrates this can increase reactive oxidative stress (ROS).Carbs have a negative effect on membrane thickness of the egg which can impact fertilisation.
4. Stress Reduction and Self-Compassion: You can’t pour from an empty cup, you must fill your cup first. A great place to start is with acupuncture and LLLT maybe I am bias, but studies and results show how it positively impacts the nervous system. The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren't alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence. Rapidly expanding research shows that self-compassion is strongly linked with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships.
If you have been trying to conceive with your partner and are looking to increase your chances of conceiving there are many things you can do. To learn more about the Acubalance approach to treating male infertility please follow the links below or call to set up a 15 minute Q&A with one of our practitioners.
In good health,
Jordan Titchener, R.AC., PCP., CLT.