Mediterranean diet can improve conception chances in infertile couples
Australia: A new research published in Nutrients showed that adherence to anti-inflammatory diets such as the Mediterranean diet might help overcome infertility, making it an affordable and non-intrusive strategy for couples trying to conceive. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, and legumes. The review, conducted by the University of the Sunshine Coast,...
Australia: A new research published in Nutrients showed that adherence to anti-inflammatory diets such as the Mediterranean diet might help overcome infertility, making it an affordable and non-intrusive strategy for couples trying to conceive. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
The review, conducted by the University of the Sunshine Coast, Monash University, and the University of South Australia, found that the Mediterranean diet can improve fertility, assisted reproductive technology (ART) success, and sperm quality in men.
Infertility is a global health concern affecting 48 million couples and 186 million individuals worldwide.
UniSA researcher, Dr Evangeline Mantzioris, says modifying preconception nutrition is a non-invasive and potentially effective means for improving fertility outcomes.
"Deciding to have a baby is one of life's biggest decisions, but if things don't go as planned, it can be very stressful for both partners," Dr Mantzioris says.
"Research shows inflammation can affect fertility for both men and women, affecting sperm quality, menstrual cycles, and implantation. So, in this study we wanted to see how a diet that reduces inflammation – such as the Mediterranean diet – might improve fertility outcomes.
"Encouragingly, we found consistent evidence that by adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet that includes lots of polyunsaturated or 'healthy' fats, flavonoids (such as leafy green vegetables), and a limited amount of red and processed meat-we can improve fertility."
The Mediterranean diet is primarily plant-based, and includes whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts, herbs, and spices. Yoghurt, cheese, and lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, or eggs; red and processed meats are only eaten in small amounts.
In comparison, a western diet comprises excessive saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and animal proteins, making it energy-dense and lacking dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Typically, a western diet is associated with higher levels of inflammation.
Monash University researcher, Simon Alesi, says understanding the association between anti-inflammatory diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, and fertility could be a game-changer for couples hoping to start a family.
"The Mediterranean diet is consistently ranked among the healthiest diets in the world. But knowing that it may also boost your chances of conceiving and having a baby is extremely promising," Alesi says.
"Modifying your diet is a non-intrusive and affordable strategy that could improve infertility.
"Of course, more research needs to be done, but at the very least, shifting to a Mediterranean diet will improve your overall health and your chances of conceiving."
Alesi, S.; Villani, A.; Mantzioris, E.; Takele, W.W.; Cowan, S.; Moran, L.J.; Mousa, A. Anti-Inflammatory Diets in Fertility: An Evidence Review. Nutrients 2022, 14, 3914. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14193914
Dr Kamal Kant Kohli-MBBS, DTCD- a chest specialist with more than 30 years of practice and a flair for writing clinical articles, Dr Kamal Kant Kohli joined Medical Dialogues as a Chief Editor of Medical News. Besides writing articles, as an editor, he proofreads and verifies all the medical content published on Medical Dialogues including those coming from journals, studies,medical conferences,guidelines etc. Before Joining Medical Dialogues, he has served at important positions in the medical industry in India including as the Hony. Secretary of the Delhi Medical Association as well as the chairman of Anti-Quackery Committee in Delhi and worked with other Medical Councils in India. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact no. 011-43720751