Mediterranean diet assisted reproduction

#Infertility is a common medical condition worldwide. It is estimated to affect up to 25 million people in Europe. A lot of recent studies have shown the connection between healthy diets and increased live birth rates after assisted reproduction techniques.

New research had suggested an association between healthy diets and increased live birth rates after assisted reproduction techniques. From September 2014 to December 2016, on randomly selected days, subfertile couples, presenting for evaluation and eligibility for In Vitro Fertilization to the fertility clinic located in Milan (northern Italy) were invited to participate in an ongoing prospective cohort study on the role of lifestyle habits and diet on assisted reproduction techniques ART outcome.


It was used as a standard questionnaire to obtain information on general sociodemographic characteristics, health history, and habits (including smoking, physical activity, alcohol intake, and methylxanthine containing beverage consumption). Some centrally trained personnel interviewed couples who agreed to participate.

Information on diet was based on a reproducible and valid food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Patients were asked to report their usual weekly food consumption in the last year. The food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) includes the average weekly consumption of 78 food items or food groups.

Information on alcohol intake was collected as usual weekly consumption. Furthermore, questions included information on the average number of cups per day of coffee and other methylxanthine containing beverages (tea, cocoa, and decaffeinated coffee). A woman was considered a smoker if she had smoked more than 1 cigarette/day for at least 1 year; an ex-smoker if she had smoked more than 1 cigarette/day for at least 1 year but had stopped more than 1 year before the interview, and a nonsmoker if she had never smoked more than 1 cigarette/day. Occupational physical activity (PA) was described as heavy (or very heavy), light/moderate, mainly standing, or mainly sitting.


The Mediterranean diet included 9 dietary components: fruit, vegetables, cereals, legumes, fish, monounsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio, dairy products, meat (including meat products), and alcoholic beverages.


In this sample of 474 women, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, estimated as the Mediterranean diet score, was not associated with successful IVF outcomes. Moreover, no significant relation was observed between food groups and a number of good-quality oocytes, availability of embryos for transfer, clinical pregnancy, and live birth.


It was found a significantly slight positive effect of intermediate MDS only on good-quality oocyte number and achieving clinical pregnancy. However, this did not result in a higher proportion of live births. Overall this study didn’t find any clear association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and successful In Vitro Fertilization.

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