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Food for Thought: Keys to Fruitful Fertility

Food for Thought: Keys to Fruitful Fertility

The risk of infertility among the women with the lowest intake of fruit increased from eight per cent to 12 per cent, while it rose from eight per cent to 16 per cent for those who ate fast food more than four times a week.

The study published today (Friday 4 May) in Human Reproduction, one of the world's leading reproductive medicine journals, asked 5598 women in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland about their diet.

Women who do not eat fruits or have a lot of junk food take longer to get pregnant and have less chances of conceiving within a year, according to a recent study.

Compared to women who never or rarely ate fast food, women who consumed fast food four or more times a week took almost a month longer to become pregnant.

We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes towards national dietary recommendations for pregnancy.

The researchers found that the amount of green leafy vegetables or fish did not have an effect.

Women who consumed fruit no more than one to three times in a month took 2 weeks longer to get pregnant than those who consumed fruit upwards of three times a day during the month prior to conception.

Study first author Jessica Grieger, also from the University of Adelaide, said, "Our data show that frequent consumption of fast foods delays time to pregnancy".

A new study indicates there is a link between eating fast food and the length of time it takes for a woman to become pregnant. The impact of maternal diet before conception among women more generally has received scant scientific attention. Fast food was classed to include meals such as burgers, pizza, fried chicken and fries purchased from a takeaway or fast food outlet. Junk food consumed that originated from supermarkets was omitted from the analysis, which is considered an oversight in the study.

"With one in six couples now struggling to conceive, many couples are now asking what they can do to optimise their fertility", said fertility dietitian Melanie McGrice at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne.

The results were adjusted to take into account the potentially adverse impact on fertility of advanced maternal age, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. "About one-third of couples in which the woman is older than 35 years have fertility problems", the CDC says.

"Our work is different in that we recruited women in early pregnancy, and asked them about their pre-conception diet and how long they were trying to conceive".

The team also did not question the male partners of the women but noted that other studies show a healthy diet higher in fruits and vegetables is linked with healthier sperm.

There were restrictions to this study, such as the researchers having to depend on women's recollections of diets past, as opposed to using information that was fresh in the mind of participants.

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