And last but not least, Vitamin C completes this powerful fertility-support trio. Vitamin C is well known for its immune-supportive and antioxidant roles and is often recommended for men to help protect sperm and the DNA within it from damage. Perhaps less well known however, but highly relevant for fertility, is the vital role that Vitamin C has to play in balancing the stress response.
Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in the adrenal glands and regulates the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Maintaining optimal dietary intake of Vitamin C may therefore support a better cortisol balance, which may in turn help to protect ovulation. Vitamin C is also involved in hormone production and is essential for collagen synthesis.
High levels of Vitamin C are found in the ovaries and collagen synthesis is required for follicle growth, for repair of the ovulated follicle and for the development of the corpus luteum. We can’t make Vitamin C ourselves, and only have a very limited capacity to store it, so regular and adequate intake through dietary sources is essential to support Vitamin C’s vital reproductive health functions. Vitamin C is found in rich supply in fresh fruits and vegetables, with citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers and kiwi fruits being particularly rich sources. Unfortunately, Vitamin C intakes tend to be low in a typical Western diet, and Vitamin C needs increase during times of stress.
To ensure optimal daily intake, Vitamin C may be supplemented in the well tolerated form of mixed mineral ascorbates (potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium ascorbate).