How does special nutrition affect fertility?
There are a lot of different factors that can greatly affect women's pregnancy. Researchers have now found that diet affects how quickly women become pregnant. When women eat fast food, it means that it takes longer for those affected to become pregnant. However, if women consume a lot of fruit, they will get pregnant faster.
The University of Adelaide scientists found in their current study that women's diet has a major impact on the likelihood of pregnancy. Certain foods, such as fast food, cause women to take longer to conceive. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Human Reproduction".
Healthy eating increases fertility
The results of the study show that a healthy diet can help make people more fertile. If women ate fruit less than once a week, it took an average of about two weeks longer to get pregnant compared to women who consumed fruit at least three times a day. This shows that healthier foods promote conception, says study author Jessica Grieger from the University of Adelaide. For example, US guidelines recommend eating two to three servings of fruit a day so that optimal nutrition to increase fertility is in line with normal nutritional recommendations.
Pregnant women answered questions about their diet
For their study, the doctors examined more than 5,500 women in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Great Britain who had never had a baby at the start of the study. When the women were in their 15th week of pregnancy, they were asked about the consumption of certain foods. It was about whether and how often certain foods were consumed. The list was detailed and included, for example, fresh fruit, green leafy vegetables, certain types of fish, burgers, fried chicken, tacos, pizza and French fries. The records also contained details of when the pregnancy started in the women concerned.
How did the diet work?
Those who had eaten the most fast food and the least amount of fruit took two to three weeks longer to conceive, compared to those who consumed the most fruit and least fast food, the researchers explain. The results of the study show the protective effect of fruit consumption, but there was no association with green leafy vegetables or fish, the doctors add.
Were there any restrictions in the study?
Fruits and vegetables contain a number of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can have a positive impact on fertility, the scientists say. Only the effects of green leafy vegetables were examined in the study. Other leafy greens were not examined, so that the entire vegetable intake was not recorded, which limits the significance of the effects on fertility.
Why does fast food affect fertility?
Fast food could affect fertility because it is high in saturated fat, the research team speculates. The specific components of fast food and their relationship to fertility have not been studied in humans. Fastfood is high in energy and contains high amounts of saturated fatty acids, sodium and sugar, the scientists explain. It could be some of these fatty acids, which are particularly high in fast food, which affect the egg cells. An egg cell is rich in saturated fat and it is possible that a woman's diet may affect the balance of these fat components, says Grieger.
What other factors affect fertility?
A healthy diet also affects male fertility. If men eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, the quality of the sperm will improve. Other research has already shown that smoking and obesity can affect male and female fertility. But excessive drinking and physical and emotional stress can also reduce fertility. In addition, age is an important factor in pregnancy. Fertility problems occur in about a third of couples where the woman is older than 35 years. (as)