The effect of nutrition on the development of the individual is extraordinarily significant. The classic example comes from the insect world: the queen bee is genetically identical to other bees, what changes is its feeding by “royal jelly“. This dietary change is enough to generate an entirely different individual, unique in its community for aspect (larger) and for function (ability to reproduce).
Nutrition and reproductive pathophysiology
Feeding can be used for signaling correct information for the maturation of sperms and oocytes
You are what you eat
Nutrition and gametogenesis
All animals, including humans, have been designed by evolution to ensure that they reproduce how, when, and how much the outside environment allows it. Just think about the seasonality of oestrus and reproduction in ruminants who give birth in the spring when the weather and the food are the best available.
In fact, the metabolism and the endocrine system have the ability to read the nutritional signals and to translate them into information for the best pattern of activation of the cell genes during embryogenesis and gametogenesis, the so-called epigenetics.
If the environment and/or eating habits are altered, signals transmitted to our gametes will also be incorrect.
Interventions are possible
If we know the specific biochemical signals, it is possible to use the diet to deliver correct information to support a physiological maturation of oocytes and sperms. This will provide increased chances of conceiving, of having a healthy pregnancy and of generating healthy children.
This can be achieved by following a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet.
The use of dietary supplements can facilitate this effort and may also compensate partially incorrect habits. However, it is necessary that these supplements are based on a thorough knowledge of human metabolism whereas the use of extemporaneous cocktails of substances (such as strong antioxidants) sometimes has adverse health effects and is almost always harmful to the reproductive function.