Does A High Fat Dairy Diet Help Fertility?

Diet has an impact on our health and on every part of our body. It is not surprising that more research is being done to examine the affect of diet on fertility levels. Recent claims that a low fat dairy diet can hinder your chances of fertility have gained a lot of public attention. A US based research team recently published their research in the journal 'Human Reproduction' showing a link between low-fat dairy foods and ovulation disorders. The research has raised controversial issues about eating low vs. high fat dairy diets.

What Did The Research Investigate?

The study involved a group of 18,555 American women between the ages 21-42. The women filled out bi-annual questionnaires over an eight year period. It included information about their menstrual cycle, the food and drink they consumed and whether they had tried and failed to conceive. The women who took part had no previous history of infertility.

What Did The Research Find?

The study did not find a general link between eating dairy products and infertility. However, the results did show seemingly significant outcomes for those who were having problems with ovulation. Those women who ate more than two servings of low-fat dairy diet food a day were 85% more likely to suffer from ovulation problems. Those women who ate at least one serving of full fat dairy every day, reduced their infertility risk by 27%.

The research triggered a lot of headlines about the benefits of eating ice cream in order to increase fertility. This was confusing for the general public. Diet is a major component of a modern, healthy lifestyle and high-fat dairy foods are something that many people try to avoid.

Dr Jorge Chavarro, the lead researcher, advised women wanting to conceive to switch to full fat dairy. However, he recommended that they switch back to low-fat dairy once they are pregnant.

Why Was The Research Criticized?

Critics of the research claim that it was not a thorough scientific study. It is also important to note that the research only applied to infertility caused by non-ovulation. This accounts for only one third of all female infertility cases. Researchers say that they took in to account differences in weight, exercise and other issues with the participants. However, some critics claimed that the questionnaires about dietary habits were not specific enough.

Fertility and Dieting

Some doctors have responded to the research claims by saying that high-fat diets are not protective. Rather, it's that dieting can have a negative impact on fertility. Being both under and over weight can have a profound affect on women's fertility. 

Many scientists have suggested that the research findings should not be taken too seriously. Further research needs to be done to investigate a more scientific link between dairy and infertility. Everybody does agree, however, that the weight extremes of being over or under weight raises the risks of all types of infertility.

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