June 23, 2016

Advance Glycation End-Products (AGE) Affects IVF

inflammation and infertility

Age supposedly affords us wisdom. It most certainly affords us the byproducts of aging. In particular, toxic-end products accumulate after metabolism and in our cells and tissues. These Advance Glycation End (AGE) products increase with impaired glucose metabolism (pre and diabetic) and with the use of high-heat in preparation of foods (for instance, grilling).

We know that these products are present in both gametes, both sperm and in oocytes. These AGE products induce oxidative stress. These oxidative stressors are associated with inflammation and all the residuals associated with it, (diabetes and cardiovascular disease). We also know that Advance Glycation End-products (AGE) affects IVF.

So, our chronologic age we can not control. However, we may have some control over AGE products. For example, men with poor semen quality were assessed for diet measured against normospermic med. It turns out that men with lower vegetable consumption and higher consumption of animal products had higher levels of inflammation. Additionally, elevated levels of caffeine intake (>3 cups daily) demonstrated increase sperm fragmentation. Additionally, longer abstinence intervals increased sperm fragmentation rates and may effect success rates of assisted reproductive technologies.

So, we can not control chronology. We can control our diet, our vitamin intake and antioxidant intake (foods with omega-3 fatty acids). The goal is optimization of fertility and the motto may be “eat better and play more.”

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Danielle Vitiello, Ph.D., M.D.

Danielle Vitiello, Ph.D., M.D. Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility