While there is an increasing awareness among fertility practitioners and patients that a healthy diet improves fertility, we always like to see a new major study to back it up.
This article in the Telegraph from last week reports on a major study of more than 1,100 men and women that was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual meeting in Lisbon last week.
The study shows that a healthy diet–specifically one rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in alcohol and tobacco–boosts fertility in men and women.
But an even more interesting element of the study, arguably, is that women are more likely than men to eat healthily in order to improve fertility.
Men are generally less interested than women in how their diet links to health, and in particular issues of fertility and infertility…When push comes to shove, I think all men inherently know what foods and lifestyle habits are good and which of them are bad…But sometimes they need to hear it from someone who isn’t their partner.
This finding underscores how men tend to take a backseat to women when it comes to the fertility journey, when research shows that men are just as likely to be the cause for fertility troubles. See our earlier post on why male infertility is often ignored.
How the study findings back up Collaborative Care’s model of care:
A healthy diet—geared specifically toward fertility and the individual needs of the patient—is in fact paramount to Collaborative Care’s fertility approach. Our goal is to reframe the approach to diet. We keep it simple, so goals are attainable and can be maintained throughout the often lengthy fertility journey. While the study referenced in the article focused primarily on fruit and vegetable intake, versus the Eastern nutrition model that Collaborative Care uses, there are certainly crossovers, as discussed in our previous blog post on Eastern versus Western nutrition.
Collaborative Care also recognizes the role the male partner can play when couples have difficulty getting pregnant, and takes care to treat male infertility, or subfertility, holistically through diet, acupuncture and herbs. (For more information, see our earlier post on why male infertility is often ignored.)