Do you love avocado and eat it regularly as a part of your Fertility Diet? If so, I want you to know about one more reason why that may be a very good thing!
In 2012, a preliminary study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health showed a diet high in avocado and other foods high in monounsaturated fats tripled the chance of success with IVF treatments. Fertility advocates and avocado lovers rejoiced, but what does this study really mean? Can we be sure that eating fats will increase pregnancy chances for couples planning an IVF treatment?
While the results are encouraging, this was a preliminary study of 147 women mostly in their 30’s and was not published in a peer-reviewed journal. More research is definitely warranted to see if the results can be duplicated. Researchers further acknowledged that this was the first time that dietary fats have been linked to any IVF treatment outcome.
Fats & Your Fertility
Specific dietary fats have different effects on the body’s systems and processes. For instance, monounsaturated, healthy fats (from avocado and olive oil) may help reduce inflammation, which could encourage a positive outcome in medical fertility treatments or of natural fertility therapies.
Inflammatory reproductive issues like endometriosis, PCOS, ovarian cysts, and uterine fibroids are known fertility blockers. Monounsaturated fats help to encourage a proper inflammatory response and support hormonal balance for women dealing with these issues.
In addition, monounsaturated fats help decrease insulin sensitivity, which plays a factor in PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Insulin-resistant PCOS is likely to cause imbalanced testosterone levels in women and signal the ovaries to release more estrogen, which can suppress ovulation. Dietary approaches are paramount to restoring fertility for women with PCOS. Eating the right type of dietary fat is a key to results.
Not all fats are created equal when it comes to your fertility. The 2012 Avocado Diet study also showed women who ate the most saturated fats (found in butter and red meat) produced the least amount of good eggs for their fertility treatment. High saturated fat intake is also associated with male fertility issues, like low sperm count. An excess of saturated and trans fats sparks inflammation in the body and can set the stage for sugar imbalances and degenerative disease.
While we have more to learn, it’s clear that getting the right balance of fats from your diet plays an important role in your fertility. The early evidence seems clear: The same diet (high in monounsaturated fat and low in saturated fat) that protects your heart may also protect your fertility.
- Hope, J. (July 2012). Avocado Diet Triples Chance for Success For Couples Undergoing IVF. Daily Mail.com Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2168494/Avocado-diet-triples-chance-success-couples-undergoing-IVF.html
- Hsu, C. (July 2012). Eating Avocados More Than Triples IVF Pregnancy Success Rate. Medical daily. Retrieved from: http://www.medicaldaily.com/eating-avocados-more-triples-ivf-pregnancy-success-rate-241240
- Riccardi, G., Giacco, R., & Rivellese, A. (2004). Dietary fat, insulin sensitivity and the metabolic syndrome. Clinical Nutrition, 23(4), 447-456. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2004.02.006 Retrieved from: https://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(04)00026-3/fulltext
- Rodriguez, H. (n.d). How To Reduce the Damaging Effects of PCOS Through Diet and Herbs. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/pcos-fertility-diet