The Hemp Connection + [vitamin E]

An interesting way to improve your chances of successful fertilization--and it has to do with sleep!

You all are must be sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tired of hearing me talk about the benefits of sleep. But I work with a sleepless population and it takes a few times to present my case before I make my point. I figure if I hammer at this from as many different angles as I can, and present as many examples of how poor sleep quality can interfere with your health, at least one of my examples will hit home and inspire you to consider your sleep habits and choices.

This doesn't bode well for Jay Leno and David Letterman…unless they team up with TiVo for advertising!

Women whose eggs had been examined and found to be of poor quality had those eggs examined by researchers. It was found that levels of chemicals indicative of oxidative stress were higher in those eggs than they were in the eggs of women whose eggs had been determined to be of good quality.

Taking this one step further, 18 women with low quality eggs were divided into one of three groups and given one of the following 3 regimens: (1) 3 mg melatonin per day, (2) 600 mg vitamin E per day, or (3) 3 mg melatonin AND 600 mg vitamin E per day. Oxidative stress markers were reduced in all three scenarios.

And THEN…in the final phase, 115 women who had not become pregnant with in vitro fertilization (IVF) were divided into two groups. The first group received 3 mg melatonin per day and the second group received no supplement. Melatonin significantly improved the rate of fertilization.

The researchers concluded that oxidative stress (which is what happens when you stress all day and don't sleep well all night), damages the quality of eggs. They also concluded that melatonin supplements can help improve fertilization rate.

Just a note--take melatonin if you want, but don't lose sight of the big picture. If you backed yourself into a corner because you weren't managing your stress and sleep, a pill may not be the complete solution to the entire problem.

Tamura H, Takasaki A, Miwa I, Taniguchi K, Maekawa R, Asada H, Taketani T, Matsuoka A, Yamagata Y, Shimamura K, Morioka H, Ishikawa H, Reiter RJ, Sugino N. Oxidative stress impairs oocyte quality and melatonin protects oocytes from free radical damage and improves fertilization rate. J Pineal Res. 2008 Apr;44(3):280-7.