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Mediterranean Diet Tied to Fertility Treatment Success

by Ann Norton,  Reuters,  Mar 18, 2010
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Women who closely adhere to a Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables, vegetable oils and fish may have a higher likelihood of becoming pregnant after infertility treatment, a new study suggests.

Researchers in the Netherlands found that among 161 couples undergoing fertility treatment at their center, women whose eating habits most closely matched the traditional Mediterranean diet were 40 percent more likely to become pregnant than those with the least Mediterranean-like diets.

The study, reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility, does not prove that the diet itself boosts the success of fertility treatment.

The study was "observational" -- where the researchers asked couples about their usual diets, separated them into groups based on their diet patterns, then followed the groups' outcomes after fertility treatment. Such studies cannot prove cause-and-effect.

However, the findings point to a possible role for diet in fertility treatment success, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Regine P.M. Steegers-Theunissen of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.

In an email to Reuters Health, Steegers-Theunissen suggested that couples considering fertility treatment eat a balanced diet that includes healthy doses of vegetable oil, vegetables, beans and fish. Read more.


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