A recent analysis of nutrition and fertility
The effect of nutrition on fertility has previously been studied, according to a review that was recently published by scientists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. The results are shown here.
The following vitamins and nutrients were connected to beneficial impacts on fertility in women seeking to conceive naturally (without “assistive reproductive technology” like in vitro fertilization):
- Vitamin B12
- B12 vitamin
- fatty acids omega-3
- healthy eating (such as the Mediterranean diet)
However, one analysis found that antioxidants, vitamin D, dairy, soy, caffeine, and alcohol seemed to have little to no impact on fertility. Adverse effects of trans fat and “unhealthy diets” (defined as those “heavy in red and processed meats, potatoes, sweets, and sweetened beverages”) have been reported.
Studies on males have shown that healthy diets (such as those mentioned above) are associated with improved semen quality. Still, diets heavy in saturated or trans fat have been connected to the opposite. Caffeine and alcohol didn’t seem to have much of an impact, good or bad. Importantly, semen quality is not a perfect indicator of fertility, and most research failed to look at the effect of paternal diet on the likelihood of successful conception.
For couples using assisted reproductive technologies, folic acid supplements or a diet rich in isoflavones (plant-based estrogens with antioxidant activity) may increase the likelihood that women may conceive, whereas antioxidants may improve male fertility.
What does this mean, therefore, if you’re attempting to conceive?
This evaluation appears less of a bombshell than the headlines might imply when considering the typical couple trying to conceive naturally. Yes, both men and women should consume a healthy diet. Women may benefit from additional folic acid, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, good diets are already advised for everyone, and prenatal vitamins (which contain folic acid and vitamin B12) are also recommended for those attempting to conceive—long known to lower the likelihood of developmental neurologic issues in the developing fetus, folic acid supplementation.
- Unanswered queries on food and conceiving
- Even if we consider these findings crucial enough to influence our eating, some fundamental issues still need to be addressed.
- What dosage of B12 or folic acid is ideal? Is there a benefit to using supplements in place of dietary sources?
- Which dietary omega-3 fatty acid sources and how many servings are ideal? How should a lady balance the danger of mercury exposure in fish?
- Do some persons require more consideration when following this dietary advice than others?
- What about the other dietary elements? Do not worry; scientists are diligently examining this issue. Consider the outcomes of three other recent studies, for instance:
- While diet soda and fruit juice had no effect, consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly sodas or energy drinks, was connected to reduced fertility in both men and women.
- Compared to women who had healthier diets, those who ate a lot of fast food and little fruit took longer to get pregnant.
- Couples who consumed more seafood became pregnant more quickly than those who ate less. The average pregnant woman consumes significantly fewer than the 2 to 3 servings of low-mercury seafood (such as salmon, scallops, and shrimp) per week that are advised.