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Ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acids Impacts Implantation
Presented at the Society for Gynecologic Investigation 2013 annual meeting, new findings suggest that a greater ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid intake could improve embryo implantation with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Omega-6 and omega-3 are both essential to our diets, but neither is produced by the body, thus they must be consumed. The key to omega-3 and omega-6 consumption is an appropriate ratio, but the current study suggests a slightly higher ratio of protein (eggs, poultry, meat, and nuts) might promote embryo implantation.
The study examined polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels in 200 IVF patients. The women were then divided into two groups based on the success or failure of their IVF cycle. None of the PUFAs alone were attributable to increased embryo implantation; rather the ratio of omega-6 levels to omega-3 levels seemed beneficial. Similarly, the total level of fatty acids did not lead to greater implantation rates.
Women with the highest ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 had the highest chance of pregnancy compared to those with the lowest.
This data suggests that omega-3s could have a detrimental effect on uterine lining, though further studies on a larger population scale are warranted.