It isn’t as easy as it seems.
Speaker Dr. Valeria Valentino, Specialist in Gynaecology and Obstetrics Physiopathology of Reproduction
For centuries we have had the illusion that pregnancy was a simple event: the spermatozoon simply has to meet the oocyte and that’s it.
Reality is not exactly like that: thousands of steps are necessary, caused by a cascade of hormonal events, so that the best spermatozoon can meet the mature oocyte, fertilisation happens, and the embryo migrates to the uterus where it could be implanted, even here the conditional is called for.
This explains how many events need to happen before having a positive pregnancy test.
Precisely for this reason conception and the problems related to it have been experienced as important since the existence of man.
Already as far back as the Egyptians the God Nephthys protected fertility. We think about the Bible and Sarah, who ardently wished for a child, but was only able to have one in old age.
We know that as centuries pass, women have always tried to find a solution to the problems of conception, undergoing all kinds of concoctions or solutions.
The only difference with modern times is that today the difficulties of conceiving are strictly biological caused by a great factor of TIME, specifically understood as AGE.
What is most frightening today is when women resort to medically assisted reproduction centres. The average age is now 36-38 years in Italy, but many women, about 25%, are over 40 years of age, taking it for granted that it is easy to become pregnant, without realising that biological age plays an important part.
Unfortunately, socially we think that a child can be had at any time, this is the fault of misinformation, but also of us doctors who do not underline the importance of trying to conceive at the right time. In fact, we professionals often make patients lose time with gruelling hormonal monitoring, basal temperatures, and other useless exams, losing time: many women should be sent immediately to a reproduction centre.
What can we do?
The first question we need to ask ourselves when faced with a woman who is trying to conceive is: what can we do for her?
Not all couples with infertility problems have age-related problems; they may have other less-known illnesses that prevent the natural process of fertilisation. For example, many women have problems connected with endometriosis, or the problem may be the man.
We must remember that there is always a reason behind infertility, and we are the ones who don’t know what it is. There are metabolic disorders: obesity, diabetes; there are endocrine reasons, such as pollution. There are some geographical areas whose pollution and many events that occur deeply affect people’s health.
In gathering the medical history, and which we address to understand the reasons of the infertility of a couple, we must include the man’s age, which is often ignored. During the process of gathering the medical history women often ask us: “Does a fertility diet exist?”
Diet: a healthy lifestyle.
There are different figures in assisted reproduction centres: the gynaecologist, of course, the psychologist, the endocrinologist, but a nutritionist is not always present, and they are essential. We doctors are often overburdened by a part of submerged work which prevents us from taking the necessary time to sit down with our couples and recommend what a correct lifestyle should be. What they should eat, what physical activities to do, what is realistically the best lifestyle to achieve specific results (and here we are talking about medical results). We would like, for example, to have more time to convince everyone to stop smoking. There is a paradox, however. The scientific techniques of medically assisted reproduction are highly effective and really help to achieve the goal of pregnancy, involving a significant scientific investment, but the route does not include a diet (from Lat. diaeta, Gr. díaita “lifestyle”) and daily advice which could make the search for conception much easier.
Scientific literature on diet and cancer, for example, is rich and detailed: recommended foods, correct lifestyles, with specific analysis of how certain foods for example impact on our cardiovascular system on bones, on how to prevent cancer.
But there is still not enough attention on how the correct diet is able to affect the good functioning of the reproductive system.
Even faced with a woman who has a strong endometrial problem we intervene surgically, we do not always think of an integrated treatment to improve the vascularisation of that woman, improve the vascularisation of the endometrium and her genital apparatus, and therefore improve the gametes which we will have to treat, in an assisted reproduction route.
Why do I who deal with fertility think about diet?
It is unpleasant not to be able to fulfil a couple’s wish for a pregnancy.
Unfortunately, the negative results are more than the positive results. So, I asked myself what can I do?
Avocado and Deavocado: the studies
In 2017, a Conference on reproductive medicine spoke for the first time about a change which started from the person through suitable integration and supplementation. The debate on this allows us to intervene on all those causes connected with pollution, dysmetabolism, or those reasons which we are still unable to give an answer to (not connected therefore with a specific illness), before taking couples to an assisted reproduction centre. We can try to give an answer to those cases with an excellent ovarian reserve and an excellent hormone level but, in actual fact, when we go to retrieve the oocytes, they are unsuitable. They present anomalies of the pellucid zone, and we are unable to fertilise them, and the woman loses her opportunity.
In these situations, I began to behave like women generally do: I searched online on pubmed.
As an answer I found that the Mediterranean-style diet (attention: Mediterranean style) is the one most recommended, and among all the elements recommended a constant appears: the Persea Americana, namely the avocado.
There are different studies and they have seen how the Persea Americana, integrated into a correct diet and healthy lifestyle, improves the inflammatory state of the people who accessed the study.
Women who were administered two avocados a day had a higher rate of pregnancy.
The Mayan population already considered the avocado to be the fruit of fertility. Not only because it is shaped like a uterus, so why then?
Monounsaturated fats are formed by a single chain and are the essential modulators of human fertility because the cholesterol forms from them and steroid synthesis starts from here. Fatty acids are essential, and it is obligatory to integrate them adequately when they are not present in the diet. A potential effect of MUFA contained in the avocado, but also in other Mediterranean-style foods (such as walnuts or extra virgin olive oil), is the physiological regulation of the female ovulatory activity, but above all the activation of an adequate steroidogenesis, reducing the inflammatory status.
The Nurses’ Health Study begun in 1976 recruited 126 thousand nurses between the age of 35 to 50. They were given a questionnaire, to assess their lifestyle and type of diet.
In 1986, Prof. Chavarro extrapolated a group of women between the age of 30 and 40 interested in conceiving and suggested a diet based on folic acid and vitamin D to support the luteal phase, and rich in monounsaturated fats to improve fertility. The study was based directly on that carried out ten years before.
He asked himself: “is there something that can improve the fertility of women?”
The numbers obtained with this diet, which included the assumption of 1 / 2 avocados a day improved the endometrial thickness, improved the oxidative state. It went on to improve the statistics regarding the pregnancy rate.
All this was explained by analysing the fruit in its composition of trace elements. Avocado contains an extremely elevated level of folates and potassium. Let’s remember that from a cardiovascular point of view it is recommended to take around 200/300 mg of potassium a day to avoid problems such as gestational hypertension, and it also contains a high content of food fibre which improves insulin pectin values.
Deavocado: why take it when trying to conceive
I want to talk to you about Deavocado, a 100% Italian product.
This product was designed in Japan, but the patent was obtained in Italy, by an all-female Italian company. The studies have shown that fermented avocado pulp has a much higher level of free amino acids, but above all it translates into a strengthening of antioxidant effects, five times more powerful than the assumption of raw avocado.
The fermented avocado comes from avocado plantations of Sicilia Avocado. The trace elements contained in this fruit are different from Persea Americana cultivated in plantations in Latin America, because the soil is different. Given that it is a recent product, put on the market at the end of 2019, followed by the pandemic, it has been difficult to have direct conversations with patients. However, we have tried an online system to gather information.
We then formulated a questionnaire to understand their state of health. We have tried to find the answers, especially for women who have taken Deavocado Conceive, in the powder formula. About 87% of the women interviewed were trying to conceive, very few had the medical prescription, but they showed an interest in buying a product, through the online search, or word of mouth. Only 1% of them received this suggestion from the pharmacist.
77% of the women felt better but, most of all, they felt a major improvement to their state of tiredness.
74% of the women interviewed recorded a clear increase in menstrual flow, probably due to the reduction in cramps, because it improves the luteal phase, so the cycle becomes regular and less painful.
30% of these women declared to have obtained a positive pregnancy test. It is a heterogenous population, so we have no information on them, for example, participating in an assisted reproduction programme. But the sure data that spontaneous conception is around 15% among women between 35 and 38 years of age, proves it is a good result.
It is now recognised that our diet and our lifestyle affect our body and we must focus our attention on how essential this is in our meetings with patients.
A diet rich in Omega 3 and Omega 9 improves the parameters of women trying to conceive, and a fruit like avocado contains key principles for women wellness.
Thanks to the fermentation avocado preparation (FAP), all pharmacological studies carried out showed that Deavocado obtained a much higher level of free amino acids and translates into a strengthening of the antioxidant effect, five times stronger than raw avocado.
Deavocado, truly Good for women.