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Diet Can Increase Fertility Odds

ABC Action News,  Jan 15, 2009

(Irvine, CA) -- We all know diet is key to good health, but there's been little evidence of its role in fertility until now. Research on women in The Nurses' Health Study shows the right foods can increase pregnancy odds.

The Aguilar's are newlyweds on a mission. It began hours after tying the knot.

Elisa Aguilar wants to conceive. “As soon as we went on the honeymoon, I started thinking about it, and it seemed like every baby was staring at me from that point on."

Anxious to start a family, they took Doctor Koren Barrett's advice and signed on to the fertility diet. In a Harvard Study involving almost 18-thousand women, it increased pregnancy odds by six-fold.

This diet focuses more on type of food than amount. Turns out fat improves fertility, but only the right fat. Whole dairy products like milk and ice cream are good. Trans fats, as little as four grams a day, are bad.

Doctor Barrett is a Naturopathic Doctor at the University of California, at Irvine. “That would represent maybe two tablespoons of margarine, a medium size french fry at a fast food restaurant or one donut on a daily basis."

Slow carbs -- veggies, fruits, brown rice -- increase fertility. Fast carbs -- white rice, white bread, white sugar -- decrease it.

Doctor Barrett says, “Higher insulin levels and higher glucose levels or sugar levels in our blood disrupt our hormones."

Good protein -- nuts, beans, tofu -- increase pregnancy odds. Red meat decreases them.

The fertility research didn't include men, but Alex, Elisa’s husband, is on the diet. As 50-percent of the equation, he's not taking any chances. “What we're really looking forward to is having a healthy baby."

Elisa knows there's no guarantee she'll soon be eating for two, but just following this diet has made her feel better than ever.

Good news -- shortly after our interview, Elisa found out she was pregnant after just three months on the fertility diet.

For more information, contact: Koren Barrett, N.D. University of California, Irvine/serenity wellness center, Irvine, Ca.


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