Tell someone you are trying to conceive and all of a sudden everyone wants to share their well-meaning, but oh-so-overwhelming advice. Raise your legs after sex. Don’t forget a prenatal vitamin. Try acupuncture. Track your ovulation. Eat lots of healthy fats. But what about some of the lesser known theories? And what about the latest trends and how they could affect trying to conceive, like activated charcoal? Of course, it’s a great teeth whitener and even face mask, but does activated charcoal have any benefits when TTC?
"Taking activated charcoal can help prepare the best environment possible for conception by helping to rid your body of toxins that can contribute to hormone imbalance and make fertility a struggle," says Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine practitioner and clinical nutritionist, in an email interview with Romper. "When taken, chemicals and toxins actually bind to the charcoal and are released with it instead of being absorbed into your bloodstream."
That means activated charcoal can work in conjunction with other measures, like a healthy diet, to help create a happy home for your baby. Cole says foods like cilantro, blueberries, parsley, and coconut oil act similarly to activated charcoal in that they naturally help the body to remove toxins.
Cole says it's also important to include foods with folate and B vitamins, such as grass-fed beef and green leafy vegetables. Like activated charcoal, he says these vitamins can also help your body with methylation, a fancy word for a biochemical process "that happens more than one billion times a second in your body to keep you alive and healthy. [It's your] body's biochemical superhighway," he says, and when methylation isn’t working, your health can take a beating. But a supplement like activated charcoal can help open up detox pathways.
That made me wonder: What other supplements might be useful if you are trying to conceive? Katie Wells, the creator of the popular natural health blog Wellness Mama, noted on her website that she also recommends several herbs and supplements to help increase fertility, including cod liver oil, red raspberry leaf, dandelion, and vitamin D.
Remember that it's important that you check with your doctor before riding the activated charcoal train, or making any other changes to your diet and supplement regimen for that matter.
As for trying some other hack to get pregnant? Hey, they say peanuts can help.