Sugar may contribute to infertility?! That’s right – sugar may lead to infertility, or worsen pre-existing issues. Most sweeteners cause acidity and disrupt hormones. Not what you want when you’re trying to promote your fertility. Refined sugar is one of the most acid producing foods you can consume!
Cakes, cookies, cocktails, wine, fudge, candies; the list goes on. So why even care – are we not supposed to enjoy ourselves and indulge a little? If you’re struggling with fertility issues, consider looking for sugar alternatives. Refined white sugars are bad news for fertility.
It is important to avoid:
- white table sugar
- white flour
- white corn (including corn syrup)
- white rice
- high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It’s in most pre-packaged foods at the supermarket
- all artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Splenda, Xylitol, and Sorbitol
Sugar Creates Hormone Disruption
The above ingredients break down quickly by the body. In turn, this raises your insulin levels too quickly. How does this affect men and women’s hormone levels? This quick spike in sugar levels creates a ‘high’ in your body that lasts from 15-30 minutes. After that, your sugar levels plummet, leaving the body drained and exhausted. This creates a ‘fight or flight’ reaction in the body. Over time, the adrenal glands become stressed.
Your adrenal gland takes the sudden drop in sugar levels as a signal. It releases cortisol and adrenaline in an attempt to replenish sugar levels. Your adrenal glands weaken over time in this stress response cycle. This leads to sluggish adrenals, and in turn, hormonal imbalance.
Not enough hormones are being produced or released. It becomes the best game of ‘broken telephone’ you’ve ever seen. It disrupts hormone levels and rhythms throughout the entire endocrine system. This includes crucial fertility hormones of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. Men and women are BOTH affected in their fertility.
The pancreas secretes insulin to convert the sugar in your blood to energy in your cells. Over-consumption of sugary foods requires the pancreas to release more and more insulin. Over time, continued release of too much insulin may create insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance disrupts normal ovulation. It prevents ovulation and can limit the maturation process of the egg. It may also disrupt the ability of the egg to implant in the uterus after conception. It increases the likelihood of miscarriage 4-5 times. It is also a key factor for PCOS.
A yeast infection may not be a direct cause of infertility, but can hinder the sperm’s ability to reach the egg. An acidic vaginal environment can also cause pain during sexual intercourse.
Too much sugar consumption may cause hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia contributes to PMS, or makes it worse.
Research has shown that 1 tablespoon of sugar can lower your immunity for up to 4 hours at a time. No wonder we get so sick in the winter holiday party season! Lowered immunity means that you are more susceptible to infections of all kinds. This includes yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, and also sexually transmitted diseases. These will all affect your fertility.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
A continuous insulin and cortisol cycle chews through your vitamin and mineral stores. B vitamins (especially B6), vitamin E, magnesium, and copper are the first targets. There’s a link between low levels of vitamin E and miscarriage.
Organic fruits are a source of healthy sugars. Natural sweeteners (raw honey, maple syrup, and raw can sugar) are OK in moderation. Even so, an excess of sweetener – even natural – will contribute to everything discussed above.
We’ve seen many of our patients conceive after switching to a no-sugar keto or paleo approach. Coincidence? We think not.
This topic is further expanded in Step 3 of The 8 Steps to Natural Fertility Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About. You can download your free copy here.