Dietary Factors, Lifestyle Linked to Better Fertility

Specific fats and protein sources may help lower infertility risk from ovulatory disorders

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women who follow a so-called "fertility diet" style of eating may enjoy a lower risk of infertility due to disordered ovulation, according to research published in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from a cohort of 17,544 women who were drawn from the Nurses' Health Study II and followed for eight years. The researchers scored the women's diets based on factors previously associated with a lower risk of infertility due to ovulation disorders, including more monounsaturated fat, vegetable protein, and high-fat dairy foods, and less trans fats and animal protein.

The investigators found that the relative risk of ovulatory disorder infertility in women in the highest quintile of "fertility diet" pattern was 0.34 compared to the lowest quintile. In addition, incorporating a variety of lifestyle habits, including weight control and physical activity, was associated with a 69 percent lower risk of infertility due to ovulatory disorder.

"Combining this dietary strategy with body weight control and increased physical activity may help prevent the majority of infertility cases due to problems with ovulation. Because data on the potential role of specific dietary patterns on fertility are scarce, it is important that these findings are reproduced, preferably in large randomized trials," the authors write.

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