Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Possible Explanation for Infertility: donuts?

I don't know how seriously to take this story from the UK. The article reports on findings that an increased consumption of transfats may be correlated with impaired fertility. It is possibly true, since it is certainly conceivable that diet plays a role in ovulation. Or, it could be that people would prefer to blame the Villain of the Month, namely transfats, rather than focus on the delayed age at first marriage and subsequent older age at first pregnancy attempt as the primary causes of infertility.

In the study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston looked at 18,500 women trying to conceive and found 438 cases of ovulatory problems.
If a woman does not ovulate there is no egg for sperm to fertilise and so she cannot become pregnant. The scientists found that those who took two per cent of their energy intake from trans fats, instead of carbohydrates or polyunsaturated fats such as sunflower oil, had a 70 per cent greater risk of infertility through lack of ovulation. Those whose energy came from trans fats instead of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil were twice as likely to have problems. The amount of trans fats needed to reach the two per cent levels was just four grams a day in a 2,000-calorie diet. People could easily eat that much in a meal of pie and chips or just one doughnut.

I'll be watching for more details on this intriguing study.

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