How Can Sea Moss Help My Reproductive Health?
According to the WHO, about 15% of couples (in their reproductive years) experience infertility. That is around 48 million couples and 186 million people worldwide.
Infertility can affect both the male and the female reproductive systems equally and is defined by the lack of a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. However, fertility issues may be present in same sex couples trying to have a biological child as well.
So what exactly causes these infertility issues?
Well, there is a pretty diverse range of factors. They could be things like environmental pollutants or second-hand smoke or lifestyle factors like first-hand smoking, excessive alcohol intake, obesity, and general health and nutrition.
This is where sea moss comes in.
A Sea Moss Briefer
Sea moss, also known as Irish moss or Chondrus Crispus (its scientific name) is a kind of red algae/seaweed that is more prevalent in northern areas of the Atlantic Ocean and Kappaphycus Alvarezii, another species of sea moss, is found in the Pacific Ocean.
It was made famous during the Irish potato famine when it was used as an alternative food source due to its abundance of nutrients. Since then, sea moss has been popularized as a natural, plant-based supplement in the Caribbean, the United States, and throughout Asia.
Sea Moss Health Benefits
Sea moss is an excellent superfood choice because it contains 92 of the 102 vitamins and minerals the body needs to function and thrive.
It has long been touted in communities that practice natural medicine as a treatment for several complaints including respiratory infections, thyroid health issues, low sex drive, slow metabolism, high cholesterol, brittle nails and hair, dull skin, and much more.
Despite the fact that there has not yet been many long-term, peer-reviewed studies into the benefits of sea moss, what is known are the nutrients it contains and what benefits they provide the body. To pick a few, sea moss is known to contain vitamins B, C, D, E, calcium, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), iron, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and zinc—all of which aid the body in keeping up a healthy reproductive system.
Though sea moss is an excellent source for all eight B vitamins, this section will focus on the six with the most fertility-boosting powers.
According to The Nurses’ Health Study II, a study with 18,555 participants, the use of B vitamins in nutritional supplementation seemed to lead to a reduced risk of ovulatory infertility (that is infertility specifically associated with an ovulation disorder.)
The B vitamins named in the study were thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folic acid (the sythetic form of folate or vitamin B9), and cobalamin (vitamin B12.)
Further studies give more encouraging information connecting vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 with aiding the success of fertility treatments, increasing the likelihood of getting pregnant, and decreasing the chance neural tube defects in the baby.
When it comes to male fertility, some experts have linked vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 intake with favorable changes in sperm quality due to (among others) vitamin B12’s its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
A reduction in inflammation is also connected with the ability to maintain erections—making regular intercourse with the goal of pregnancy a greater possibility.
Vitamins C & E
Taken together, these vitamins have been suggested to lead to improvements in sperm concentration, motility, morphology, and (less often) DNA integrity/quality.
On top of improving sperm motility, vitamin E (like vitamin C) has antioxidant properties that are good for general reproductive health in women.
There is a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and infertility in men and women. And while not proven through rigorous studies, there are claims that vitamin D improves ovary health and semen quality.
Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have been found to have low vitamin D levels. Tackling ovulatory infertility by ingesting vitamin D with the B vitamins mentioned earlier may help those who want to conceive.
Calcium is another mineral that has not been studied much through the lens of fertility. However, outside of the well-known necessity of calcium, there is a recent study that implies calcium deficiency may be a cause of male infertility because of its role in sperm production.
Luckily CoQ10 is a compound the body produces naturally. Still, a 2018 article concluded that taking it as an additional supplement can increase the ovarian response in women receiving IVF treatments, particularly as the body makes less as it ages.
Further, recent studies have also found connections between CoQ10 and healthier sperm motility.
Another possible source for ovulatory infertility is anemia caused by iron deficiency. Vitamin C helps with iron (and other micronutrient) absorption. Taking sea moss ensures that all of the nutrients are supporting each other in the absorption process.
In a study of women aged 30-44, it was found that taking omega-3 supplements may increase chances of conceiving by 1.5%. Another study suggests that the nutrient may also increase sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology.
Selenium is a little talked about, but nonetheless important mineral for the body as it plays a part in cancer prevention, protection against heavy metals, and almost every part of the conception process.
A selenium deficiency has been correlated with a drop in semen and sperm motility, miscarriages, impairment to the fetal nervous and immune systems, and gestational complications. It has also been proven to have a direct connection with lower newborn birth weights when detected early in pregnancies.
The good news is, ingesting selenium (with zinc) is an easy fix and may even support fertility pre-conception by maintaining healthy follicular fluid surrounding the eggs.
Even though zinc plays a necessary role in creating sperm, there is no definitive proof that it assists in any kind of sperm improvement.
Even so, when it comes to female fertility, lower levels of zinc have been linked to taking a longer time to conceive. In many of the studies referenced above, zinc was also taken in conjunction with the other vitamins and minerals, suggesting a supporting role (at least in the reproductive process.)
There is no doubt that sea moss is chock-full with the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy body. So while studies on sea moss itself are scarce, there is an incredible amount of knowledge out there on each of the individual elements that make up this miracle plant.
Instead of taking multiple individual supplements, consider our expertly crafted selection of gold sea moss or purple sea moss with full phytonutrients. We also invite you to browse our shop for your other supplement needs.
Of course, whenever taking new supplements, especially while trying to get pregnant, it is important to consult first with your doctor about dosages and what is right for your body.