You may or may not have heard about a relatively new product on the market called OvaBoost (click here for the product website). OvaBoost is an innovative supplement brought to you by Fairhaven Health that is designed to help improve egg quality and optimize ovarian function for women over 30 who are actively trying to conceive.
OvaBoost contains Folic Acid and Myo Inositol, like Pregnitude (find our post on MYO here). But OvaBoost has two additional ingredients – Melatonin and CoQ10, along with 3 anti-oxidants – Vitamin E, grapeseed extract and alpha lipoic acid.
As you know, women are born with a finite number of eggs and the number of eggs steadily declines with each passing year. At birth, we have approximately 1-2 million eggs. By puberty, roughly 300,000 remain. Over the course of a lifetime, between 300-400 eggs are released through ovulation. Along with egg quantity, egg quality also declines due to a variety of factors (age, environmental toxins, stress, poor diet and hormonal imbalances such as PCOS all play a part) – all of which can prove detrimental to a woman’s over-all fertility. Poor egg quality can cause issues with fertilization, unsuccessful implantation and frequent miscarriages due to chromosomal abnormalities. While there is no way to increase the number of eggs a woman has, it IS possible to improve the quality of the existing egg reserve.
Research indicates that egg cells are highly susceptible to harm from free radicals, the unstable oxygen molecules that are produced as the body breaks-down toxins.
OvaBoost was formulated by a team of medical experts and combines 3 key ingredients that have been scientifically proven to improve egg quality – MYO Inositol, Folic Acid, and Melatonin.
Folic Acid is well-known for its ability to prevent neural tube defects, and sufficient intake is recommended for all women of childbearing age. But new research indicates that Folic Acid combined with MYO Inositol and Melatonin (two powerful anti-oxidants) helps to improve egg quality. In a recent study, women undergoing IVF treatments saw significant improvement to egg quality after MYO supplementation. Since the mid-2000s, research on MYO has exploded. It has been well documented and scientifically confirmed that MYO works to promote optimal ovarian function and cycle regularity in women with PCOS.
Women typically aren’t familiar with the benefits of CoQ10. We usually think of CoQ10 as a supplement taken for male-factor infertility. However, what isn’t widely known is that CoQ10 helps to produce and regulate the energy in oocytes. Once conception occurs, CoQ10 plays an integral role in producing all of the energy the oocyte needs to complete its multiple stages of rapid cell division and turn into a healthy embryo. After about age 35, your body’s ability to synthesize CoQ10 decreases, making supplementation essential!
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body’s daily rhythm, telling us when to fall asleep and when to wake up – it is often used as a natural sleep aid. What many people don’t know is that Melatonin also helps control the timing and release of female reproductive hormones. It helps determine when a woman starts to menstruate, the frequency and duration of menstrual cycles, and when a woman stops menstruating (menopause). They discussed melatonin at the 20th World Congress on Fertility and Sterility in September 2010 and found that the fertilization rate among women who took 3 mg tablets of melatonin (n = 56) during the second IVF cycle were improved compared with those achieved during their first failed cycle, at 50.0% versus 20.2%. Patients who did not take melatonin (n = 59) experienced no change in fertilization rates. Melatonin intake also improved pregnancy rates, which were 19.6 percent among women taking supplements compared with 10.2% for the women not taking any. Melatonin has strong antioxidant effects. Preliminary evidence suggests that it may help strengthen the immune system.
OvaBoost contains 3 additional antioxidant ingredients – vitamin E, grapeseed extract and alpha lipoic acid – to help ensure that your egg cells are adequately protected from the damaging effects of free radicals.
I began supplementing with OvaBoost on January 1st of this year, and have been taking the product faithfully since then. While I haven’t been taking it for a full 90 days (remember – to see the true benefits of any medication or supplement, you need to be consistent with use for at least 60-90 days), I am able to tell you that I have had an over-all positive experience with OvaBoost, and I fully intend to continue using the product.
I have always been up-front with my Cysters about the medications and supplements I take, my lab numbers, and my over-all health status. When I first brought OvaBoost to my RE’s attention in late December we had discovered that I had developed additional health complications that were more than likely caused by PCOS. At the time, my A1c was around 4.9%. I took the research on the ingredients in OvaBoost to my appointment, had each one of my doctors (yes, I have many) read the information, and was immediately given the “green light” to begin supplementing.
I will post another update on my experience with OvaBoost in June, but for now I can tell you that, since supplementing and getting my exercise/eating habits back on track (this flu season was HORRIBLE!), my A1c has stayed below 5% (at the time I wrote this review it was actually on the low end). If, at the time of my next blood draw, my A1c remains below 5%, I will no longer be considered diabetic. How cool is that? What’s even more cool? I spotted! Wierd for a woman to be excited about spotting? Not if you’re a Cyster who hasn’t seen a natural cycle in over 10 years!
Was the OvaBoost the reason I started spotting? I’m not sure, but given the timing it may very well have been the tipping point. I firmly believe that, through exercise, proper nutrition and taking the right medications and supplements, every Cyster can absolutely get healthy and turn their life around! I am living proof.
Cost-wise, OvaBoost is comparable to Pregnitude ($34.95 for a one-month supply of Pregnitude and $28.95 for a one-month supply of OvaBoost with a discount for purchasing increased quantities), but with the additions of Melatonin, CoQ10 and the other anti-oxidants, OvaBoost does seem to be a “better bang for your buck” for those of us in our 30s.
While I did receive a free bottle of OvaBoost for agreeing to review the product, neither myself nor 1in10 have been compensated by Fairhaven Health for this review.
OvaBoost Scientific Research
Effect of the treatment with myo-inositol plus folic acid plus melatonin in comparison with a treatment with myo-inositol plus folic acid on oocyte quality and pregnancy outcome in IVF cycles. A prospective, clinical trial. Rizzo P, et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2010 Jun; 14(6): 555-61.
The efficacy of melatonin administration on oocyte quality. Batioglu AS, et al. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Feb; 28(2); 91-3
The role of melatonin as an antioxidant in the follicle. Tamura H, et al. Journal of Ovarian Research 2012, 5:5.
Myo-inositol rather than D-chiro-inositol is able to improve oocyte quality in intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles. A prospective, controlled, randomized trial. Unfer V et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Apr;15(4):452-7.
Effects of myo-inositol supplementation on oocyte’s quality in PCOS patients: a double blind trial. Ciotta L, et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 May;15(5):509-14.
Melatonin improves the oocyte and the embryo in IVF patients with sleep disturbances, but does not improve the sleeping problems.Eryilmaz OG et al. J Assist Reprod Genet – 01-SEP-2011; 28(9): 815-20
Oxidative stress impairs oocyte quality and melatonin protects oocytes from free radical damage and improves fertilization rate. Tamura H, et al. J Pineal Res 2008; 44(3): 280-7
Effect of a supplementation with myo-inositol plus melatonin on oocyte quality in women who failed to conceive in previous in vitro fertilization cycles for poor oocyte quality: a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study. Unfer V, et al. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2011 Nov;27(11):857-61.
Contribution of myo-inositol and melatonin to human reproduction. Carlomagno G, et al. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2011 Dec;159(2):267-72.
Inositol administration reduces oxidative stress in erythrocytes of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Don G, et al. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Apr;166(4):703-10.
Antioxidants to enhance fertility: role of eNOS and potential benefits. Visioli F, Hagen TM. Pharmacol Res. 2011 Nov;64(5):431-7.
Coenzyme Q10 content in follicular fluid and its relationship with oocyte fertilization and embryo grading. Turi A, et al. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2012 Apr;285(4):1173-6.
The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review. Agarwal A, et al. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2012 June 29; 10(1): 49.
Age related changes in mitochondrial function and new approaches to study redox regulation in mammalian oocytes in response to age or maturation conditions. Eichenlaub-Ritter U, et al. Mitochondrion. 2011 Sep;11(5):783-96.