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Link Between Nutritional Supplement and Fertility Suggested

Sunnyvale, CA ( May 14, 2002) -- A recently published double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study on the role of  a nutritional supplement for female reproductive health showed promising results. Conducted in conjunction with investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the study found improvement in women's mid-luteal phase progesterone levels, basal body temperatures, and a statistically significant increase in pregnancy rates, following nutritional supplementation with FertilityBlend™  for three months. The study was conducted by Mary Lake Polan, MD, PhD, MPH, Professor and Chair, and Lynn Westphal, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Stanford University School of Medicine and published in the Journal of Women's Health and Gender Specific Medicine in April/May 2002 (Volume 11, Number 3).

Sixty million American women are of childbearing age, and twenty-four million couples are trying to start a family. But one out of every six couples in the U.S. and one out of every three couples in their late thirties have difficulty conceiving a child. In many of these cases, the causes of infertility are treatable. However, doctors are often unable to identify a cause. Drs. Polan and Westphal postulated that if low fertility is due to a hormonal imbalance or nutritional deficiency, nutritional supplements may play a critically important role.

While many are familiar with the concept of taking a prenatal vitamin before childbirth, relatively little research has looked into the benefit of a nutritional supplement to optimize fertility. This study is the first of its kind for a nutritional supplement in the reproductive health category.

Twenty-nine women, age 24-46 years, who had tried unsuccessfully to conceive for 6 to 36 months were enrolled in the study and completed the three month trial.  None of the participants received any pharmacological treatments for infertility during the course of the study, including one month prior to beginning the study.   Following a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled design, neither the women volunteers nor the investigators knew who was getting the nutritional supplements or the placebo during the study.  Of the 29, 15 received placebo and 14 received FertilityBlend™. By the end of the 3-month study, 4 of the 14 women in the supplement group were pregnant (29%), and none of the 15 women in the placebo group were pregnant (p=0.02, statistically significant). The supplement group also demonstrated an increase in the average number of days in cycle with basal temperatures over 98F during luteal phase (6.8 to 9.7 days, 42.6% increase, p=0.04), and an increase in mean mid-luteal phase progesterone levels (from 8.2 to 13.1 ng/ml, 59.8% increase, p=0.08) at the end of the three months. The placebo group did not show any notable changes, before or after treatment, in any of the parameters studied.  No significant side effects were noted.

Admittedly, this was a very small study, but the results are encouraging.  This pilot study is currently being expanded to a multi-center study, with the goal of evaluating at least 100 women.  Evaluation of a FertilityBlend™ Formula for Men is in progress to determine its effect on sperm concentration and motility.

"FertilityBlend™  may enhance reproductive health as an integral part of an overall healthy lifestyle," says Lynn Westphal, MD, Assistant Professor of Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Stanford University. "This seems to be a very reasonable alternative and I would recommend it to my patients."

"We always wanted kids, but waited for the timing to be right, and I just never imagined we would encounter problems," says forty-year-old study participant, Laura Davies. "We tried for about a year and a half and I was told by my physician that I would never be able to conceive a child naturally.  I really wasn't interested in invasive procedures, so when I learned of the FertilityBlend™  study we enrolled immediately. To our surprise and delight, I was pregnant within three months."

Smoking, certain types of stress and the consumption of caffeine, drugs and alcohol may cause oxidative damage to reproductive organs in both men and women. FertilityBlend™  can potentially help counter such oxidative damages and promote overall health prior to conception.  

FertilityBlend™ for Women contains chasteberry (vitex agnus-castus) - an herb believed to facilitate healthy ovulation; folic acid - to prevent certain birth defects; green tea, vitamin E and selenium - antioxidants that may promote reproductive wellness; L-arginine - an essential amino acid that may benefit sexual and reproductive health; plus vitamins B6 and B12, iron, magnesium and zinc -  nutrients which may also enhance fertility and reproductive health.
FertilityBlend™ for Men may help improve the health of sperm. Ingredients include L-carnitine -an amino acid critical to the formation of healthy, active sperm; ferulic acid - an antioxidant shown to improve sperm quality; vitamins C and E, green tea and selenium- antioxidants essential for overall reproductive health; plus zinc, folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 - nutrients involved in hormone metabolism, sperm formation and motility.

Created: 5/14/2002  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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