Diet and IVF

Diet and IVF

Js it possible that modfiying your diet could improve your chance of success with IVF?

Greek researchers report that younger women who followed a so-called Mediterranean heart-healthy eating plan in the six months before trying IVF had better odds of a successful pregnancy than women who didn’t. “As more couples worldwide face infertility problems and seek access to assisted reproduction technologies to conceive, it is essential for them to receive counseling on the importance of dietary influences and of adopting a healthy lifestyle,” said study researcher Meropi Kontogianni.

However, the findings do not prove cause and effect.

A Mediterranean diet emphasizes plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It favors healthy fats such as olive oil and lean sources of protein — fish and poultry. The diet is low in salt and red meat.

Why this style of eating might aid fertility treatment isn’t known, said Kontogianni, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at Harokopio University in Athens. Perhaps any healthy eating plan would have the same effect, she said.

“This study makes women aware that a healthy lifestyle — including a healthy diet, not smoking, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing stress — does have an impact on fertility,” said Dr. Tomer Singer of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Following a Mediterranean diet may be a sign of other healthy behaviors that, taken together, improve IVF outcomes, said Singer, who is director of reproductive endocrinology at the hospital. Based on their previous research, the study authors said a man’s diet is also important for IVF success. Kontogianni cautioned that her study’s findings cannot be generalized to all women trying to become pregnant, or to obese women. In addition, no association between diet and IVF success was seen among women aged 35 and older, she said.

Since they did not prove cause and effect and the differences in the study groups could be due to different protocols I would take this information with a grain of salt, even thouigh that’s not part of the Mediterranean diet.

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