Do you ever have one of those ‘Ah-ha’ moments? This one changed so much for me, especially when it came to my fertility clients.
I remember when I first discovered that the use of the Combined Oral Contraceptive (COCP) pill leads to an elevation in serum copper. Why this is an ‘Ah-ha’ moment is because the for the life of me, I would see patients with symptoms of Zinc deficiency, but when I increased their Zinc, I couldn’t seem to get the desired effect.
But then when I discovered the effect of COCP on serum copper, it made everything make sense.
I started testing Serum copper and alas, there was my answer.
You see, copper and zinc compete with each other for many physiological processes. This antagonistic effect means elevated copper offsets the beautiful actions of Zinc.
So the longer the patient has been on the COCP, the greater copper elevation we expect to see.
The importance of Zinc for fertility needs pages and pages of explanation to do it justice, but just know that It would have to be one of the most important nutrients someone needs, especially for egg quality, ovulation and hormone regulation.
Almost all of my fertility patients get prescribed Zinc because Australian soils are typically lower in Zinc anyhow – so even with a perfect diet we can be behind. It’s the dose that varies depending on copper status. Sometimes we only need to focus on removing excess copper depending on other factors like a persons genetic susceptibility towards requiring greater levels of Zinc.
According to one of the more recent meta-analysis studies, this level copper commonly found is above ‘reference range’ but considered ‘non-toxic’. The analysis then goes on to say ‘there are suggestions that such Cu increase could be implicated in oxidative pathophysiological processes in the body. Further research on safety of COCP use, including oxidative-stress-related effects, is warranted.’
If you’re still not convinced on how important Zinc is, then do a quick google search and you’ll soon see that Zinc plays a role in every conceivable biochemical pathway in the body.
So be mindful. If you’re taking a COCP then perhaps supplementing with Zinc something to consider.
If you’d like more information then please visit us in store. We can even go as far as organising pathology for you (at your cost unfortunately).
Getting the right dose and right type of Zinc for you makes all of the difference.
Please share this knowledge with your friends, this might make all of the difference to someone conceiving or not.
If you’d like a fertility consultation then follow the link to make a booking.
Babic, Z., Tariba , B., Kovacic, J., Pizent, A., Varnai, V., & Macan, J. (2013). Relevance of serum copper elevation induced by oral conceptives: a meta-analysis. Contraception, 790-800.
Tian, X., & Diaz, F. (2012). Zinc Depletion causes multiple defects in ovarian function during the periovulatory period in mice. Endocrinology, 873-86.
The information provided by Australian Nutrition Centre is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional in the event something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.