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High Animal Protein Intake May Increase Infertility Risk

High vegetable protein intake appears to lower risk

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Women who consume large amounts of animal rather than vegetable protein are at higher risk of ovulatory infertility, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., and colleagues from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, surveyed diet among 18,555 married female nurses and followed them over an eight-year period as they attempted pregnancy or became pregnant.

The researchers found that 438 women reported ovulatory infertility. High intake of animal protein increased the risk of infertility (multivariate-adjusted risk 1.39 for highest versus lowest quintile), while high intake of vegetable proteins lowered the risk of infertility (multivariate-adjusted risk 0.78 for highest versus lowest quintile). The risk of ovulatory infertility was 50 percent lower in women who consumed 5 percent of total energy intake as vegetable rather than animal protein.

"Replacing animal sources of protein with vegetable sources of protein may reduce ovulatory infertility risk," Chavarro and colleagues conclude.

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