Marilyn Shannon, author of Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition
, knew her popular book was due for an update. But even she was surprised by the explosion of research in this area since her last edition in 2001.
"I was amazed when I did the literature search," Shannon says. "I knew there had been an increase in research on nutrition for fertility, but my search results far exceeded my expectations." Shannon began her research by whittling down over 900 journal article citations specifically related to her topics, to 500 abstracts, and then to 300 full articles, many of which are cited in the reference pages of the new book.
The result is a completely revised and expanded 4th edition of Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition: Self-care for improved cycles and fertility...naturally!
. Based on her experience both as an instructor of human anatomy and physiology at Indiana University Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and over 25 years as a Natural Family Planning (NFP) teacher, Shannon is convinced that in most cases, self-care for better fertility is the best place to start.
A mainstay originally for couples practicing NFP, Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition
has helped thousands of women over the years to improve their fertility cycles, often either making the practice of NFP easier, relieving cycle irregularities, or helping them to achieve a much-desired pregnancy.
While the new 4th edition does not really conflict with the old, it goes far beyond previous editions.
"There are many new options for basic topics like PMS (premenstrual syndrome), short luteal phase, or heavy bleeding," Shannon explains. "This edition also provides more explanations of the 'why and how' behind various topics, such as why exercise builds bone, how insulin levels relate to PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), how light affects the fertility cycle, or how flax oil differs from fish oil."
The new Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition
still recommends first improving the diet, with an emphasis on plenty of whole, unrefined foods. Yet it also acknowledges that flexibility is important, as what is best for one person might not be what is best for another. For instance, Shannon recommends both animal and plant protein sources, but is flexible as to how much and what kinds. Her recommendations for fats and oils have strengthened the emphasis on animal fats, and she now recommends fish oil as well as flax oil.
Part II moves into targeted advice for supplements aimed at improving specific cycle irregularities such as PMS, painful or heavy periods, PCOS, infertility, repeated miscarriage, etc. While new research still supports Shannon's longstanding recommendation of the vitamin Optivite PMT for many cycle irregularities, she also now endorses ProCycle PMT and Fertility Blend for overcoming certain problems or trying to achieve pregnancy. The new edition also has expanded information on nutrition during pregnancy, age-related infertility, preventing birth defects, celiac disease, low sexual desire, and male fertility-- including the importance of antioxidants for men -- and much more.Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition
is unique in that it covers the gamut of nutrition to improve the cycle for women who are not seeking pregnancy, for women who are using Natural Family Planning, as well as for women -- and couples -- who are trying to overcome infertility. --The Couple to Couple League
Marilyn McCusker Shannon holds a master s degree in human physiology with a minor in biochemistry from Indiana University s Medical Sciences Program. She is a tenured, part time instructor of biology at Indiana University Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she has taught human anatomy and physiology for the last 25 years.
Marilyn and her husband Ron have been a Teaching Couple for the Couple to Couple League for Natural Family Planning (NFP) since 1982. Her interest in the impact of nutrition on reproductive health is an outgrowth of her educational background and her experience as an NFP instructor. She has written many articles on nutrition and fertility for the Couple to Couple League's magazine, Family Foundations, and has spoken widely on this topic. She was awarded the Couple to Couple League's Edward M. Keefe, M.D. Award for the Scientific Advancement of Natural Family Planning following the first edition of Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition.