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Higher dairy intake may improve pregnancy rates

Two new studies presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine provide evidence that eating and drinking dairy products may improve pregnancy rates in those undergoing IVF.

The first study was conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Centre. Women who were undergoing IVF at the centre filled out a food frequency questionnaire. IVF outcomes were compared in women who completed treatment within 18 months of filling out the questionnaire. The researchers found that higher dairy food intake was linked with higher live birth rates. Of those studied, women who consumed more than 3 servings of dairy per day (e.g., ice cream, cream, yogurt, and milk) had a 21% greater likelihood of having a baby, compared to those who consumed less than 1.34 servings per day.

Another study conducted at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Hospital, may shed some light on the link between dairy and pregnancy rates in women. The study found that a maternal diet rich in butter fat reduced some of the harmful effects of bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure (a chemical found in plastic which can impact fertility) on embryos in female rats.

Kurt Barnhart, MD, President of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility said of the findings of these two studies:

“A complete and balanced diet is essential to optimize reproductive function. These studies point us in an interesting direction for future research into the nutrients found in dairy products which may promote embryo growth and development.” 


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