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Nutrition Plays Key Role in Reproductive Health, IVF Success


24 October 2012

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San Diego, CA - Research presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine showed the important role nutrition plays in reproductive health. The studies pointed to the impact of diet on sperm quality and on IVF success rates.

Two studies examined the relationship between diet and semen quality. Using data from the Rochester Young Men's study, the first paper looked at the impact of dairy intake on sperm. This paper found that as dairy intake increased, semen quality declined. The relationship was even stronger as more full fat dairy products were consumed. Increased consumption of full fat dairy products was associated with lower sperm motility and concentration. Another study used the same data base to examine the relationship of carbohydrate consumption and semen quality. Here they found that increased glycemic load, an index which summarized amount and quality of carbohydrates in the diet, was associated with a decline in sperm concentration in young men.

Two studies took a look at nutrition and its impact on patients undergoing IVF. In the first, patients were asked to do a dietary log and the data was analyzed for nutritional content. They found that patients eating more proteins and fewer carbohydrates had higher rates of fertilized eggs developing to the blastocyst stage and higher pregnancy rates. In the second study, the same team took patients who had undergone IVF but had poor development of the fertilized eggs to the blastocyst stage and asked them to do a three day nutrition log. They were then counseled on how to increase their protein intake and decrease their carbohydrate intake for 2 months before attempting another IVF cycle. In their next cycle, following the nutrition change, the blastocyst formation increased from 19% to 45% and the pregnancy rate went from 17% to 83%.

"These studies are most intriguing and demonstrate how little we know about the effects of micronutrients in our diets on various aspects of reproduction. They demonstrate a field wide open for future research and beg questions such as whether, for example, it is carbohydrates in general or the inflammatory effects of gluten in grain carbohydrates that are deleterious to IVF outcomes," said Richard Reindollar MD, Vice-President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

O-134 Dairy Food Intake In Relation To Semen Quality Among Young Active Men 
M. Afeiche et al

O-155 Carbohydrate Intake and Semen Quality Among Young Men 
J.E. Chavarro et al 

P-410 Does Dietary Protein and Carbohydrate Intake Influence Blastocyst Development and Pregnancy Rates?
 J.B. Russell et al

O-153 Does Changing A Patient's Dietary Consumption of Proteins and Carbohydrates Impact Blastocyst Development and Clinical Pregnancy Rates From One Cycle To The Next? 
J.B. Russell et al

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of more than 7,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology.  Affiliated societies include the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the Society of Reproductive Surgeons and the Society of Reproductive Biologists and Technologists.

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Date Added: 24 October 2012   Date Updated: 24 October 2012
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