Nutrition & Female fertility

Infertility is a major problem in modern society and recurs in as much as 20–30% of the fertile female population.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) delineates infertility as the failure to conceive after one or more years of attempts of natural fertilization, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting up to 80 million women world-wide having been affected by this disease to date, with a prevalence of ~50% of all women in developing countries.

Besides a number of gynecological and systemic diseases affecting a woman's fertility, lifestyle factors and environmental conditions such as stressful jobs, unbalanced nutrition and unhealthy diet concur to interfere with reproduction safety in both women and men.

Abnormal body weight and energy supply in terms of restrictions or excesses, as well as dietary enrichment in carbohydrates, fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals all exert a detrimental impact on both ovulatory function and normal spermatogenesis. In addition to the negative interference with the safety of gametes, several nutrients of major diets also affect the implantation of a normal embryo.

Nutrition & Female fertility

Nutrition Styles and Body Weight

Reproductive performance is definitely influenced by foods and type of nutrition. An unbalanced caloric and protein intake due to incorrect food consumption, responsible for severe under- or over-weight, leads to alterations of the ovarian function with subsequent increase in the infertility.

Several studies exploring the effect on fertility of various dietary habits are based on data from extended studies including 116,678 females in the Nurses' Health Study II, that defined the reduced risk of fertility due to ovulatory disorder in women whose food regimen included low glycaemic content and limited intake of nutrients.

Nutrition Styles and Body Weight

Variations of the body weight in terms of overweight, obesity or severe underweight associated to alterations of the energy balance are also suspected to produce ovulatory disorders. To this regard, it has been reported that the time to conceive is longer in women with body mass index (BMI) superior to 25 kg/m2 or inferior to 19 kg/m2, and that both overweight and obesity are significantly related with reduced pregnancy rate, increased supplies of gonadotrophins and higher miscarriage rate.

High BMI is also associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as gestational diabetes, hypertension and premature births and unbalanced diets with a prevalence of carbohydrates, fatty-acids, proteins or vitamins and micronutrients definitely exert a negative impact on ovulation.

Moreover, nutritional factors may influence not only oocyte maturation, but also quality of embryos and efficiency of implantation. However, more information regarding the role of nutrition in procreation is needed to provide guidelines devoted to nutritional management of infertile women.

Adequate intake of antioxidants also supports female reproductive functions since the dietary supplements containing folic acid, β-carotene, Vitamin C and E, and an adequate nutritional support of the 1-CC are definitely efficient in shortening the time to conception.

In conclusion, a correct balance of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, antioxidant and folate in the daily diet provides essential benefit for an optimal female reproductive health and reduces the risk of infertility. In this context, the association of MedDiet with antioxidants compounds and 1-CC support appears suitable to improve women's fertility.


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