15 Jan 2013

FERTILITY – IVF AND HEAVY METALS

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Background exposure to toxic metals in women adversely influences pregnancy during IVF

Low-level environmental exposure to Mercury, Lead and Cadmium may interfere with pregnancy following embryo transfer during in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Detectable levels of these metals are reported for a vast majority of the population, and this highlights the pervasive nature of human exposure to Mercury, Lead and Cadmium through “background‟ sources. Long half-lives facilitate bioaccumulation and result in biomagnification in food chains, thereby exposing individuals through diet, in addition to air and water .

Accumulation in the reproductive tissues of women and men  corroborates the likelihood for reproductive toxicity of Mercury, Lead and Cadmium. Once in the cell,  these metals are reported to increase free radical species resulting in protein damage and lipid oxidation, alter regulatory DNA methylation patterns thereby modifying genetic expression, and have been shown to demonstrate  estrogenic effects and may also alter progesterone synthesis.

The results of this study add to a growing burden of evidence to suggest that the developing embryo experiences intervals of differential vulnerability to toxic agents across the early stages of human reproduction.

Supplements and food that can help chelate and remove heavy metals include Lipoic Acid, Cysteine, Methionine, Sulphur, Chlorella, Spiriluna, Barley grass, Seaweeds,  Milk Thistle, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Garlic, Coriander and Broccoli.

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