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Taking Dairy Out of Your TTC Diet

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by Cindy Bailey of the Fertile Kitchen™, Feb. 16, 2010

There are some who are resistant to the idea of giving up dairy for their fertility, and I understand where that comes from. From day one we are taught to drink our milk! That we need milk to get our share of calcium and protein, to make us healthy and strong!

But here are some realities about drinking milk — and consuming the myriad of other dairy products, such as cheese, cottage cheese and artificially flavored yogurt — while trying to conceive. First, there are studies that link dairy to a decline in fertility. One to take note of is this review of a 1994 study which links age-related infertility with dairy.

Dairy products can have an adverse effect on endocrine and immune health. In the body, they produce galactose, a milk sugar which is apparently toxic to human eggs.

In addition, many adults can become sensitive to lactose -- a sugar in milk -- without even knowing it, and most adults lose the ability to digest lactose altogether. This means your body has to work even harder to digest dairy products, which are already hard to digest in the first place.

These are all good reasons to take dairy out of your diet, especially while trying to conceive.

For a milk substitution, consider almond, soy or rice milk. Just be careful not to consume too much soy milk (see my blog about soy). If you find you must have dairy on occasion, at least go organic to avoid the added growth hormones which can affect our own hormones negatively.

If you worry about getting calcium, alternative sources include leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and spinach; oranges; black beans; salmon; sesame seeds and almonds.
Taking care of your diet means taking care of yourself!

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Comments (2)

Hi, JaquanK - Thank you for your comment! Yes, dairy can have a negative effect on fertility. You'll find a little more on this at this National Institute of Health site:

It's important to note a couple of things on the dairy issue, though. The first probably applies to every dietary choice you make, and that is, that every person is different and can metabolize various foods and nutrients differently. One person may be more sensitive to caffeine than another, for example. In general, though, adults do not digest milk and milk products very well or very easily (some not at all), which relates to the toxicity of our eggs. When trying to conceive I always say that if there's any chance a particular food can get in the way of fertility, than it needs to go.

The second thing I want to mention is that if your wife really must have dairy, I think it's OK to have an occasional serving of plain, organic yogurt with live cultures. It's easier to digest than other milk products; just make sure it's organic so she doesn't get the growth hormones, and make sure there's nothing (like sugar!) added.

As always, I also encourage individuals to do their own research and follow what rings true for them in their gut. I wish you and your wife all the best on your journey to parenthood!

Is it true that dairy products really affect fertility? It says here that dairy products can have an adverse effect on endocrine and immune health. In the body, they produce galactose, a milk sugar that is apparently toxic to human eggs. Well, I might research more studies about this since my wife truly crave for dairies, and it might be one cost why we cannot have baby after 4 years of marriage. Nowadays, we really need to take good care of our body and health. So thank you so much for giving us some updates on what proper foods should we take to be healthier.

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