The Mediterranean diet works wonders in several health areas. For example, the adoption of this diet drastically increases the chances of women under the age of 35 who have recourse to in vitro fertilization (IVF), of becoming pregnant and carrying out their pregnancy successfully.
This study, published in Human Reproduction, brings new elements to the relationship between diet and fertility. It shows that women who have followed a Mediterranean diet in the 6 months preceding in vitro fertilization (IVF) are more likely to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby than those who do not follow such a diet. .
IVF for women between 22 and 41 years old
To arrive at such results, the researchers submitted 244 women to a food frequency questionnaire, in order to find out the composition of their diet in the 6 months preceding IVF. The women were between 22 and 41 years old, had a body mass index below 30 and were undergoing IVF for the first time. These questionnaires made it possible to assign each of these women a MedDiet Score, ranging from 0 to 55, where 55 represents the highest level of adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
65% more chance of getting pregnant thanks to the Mediterranean diet during IVF
This study shows that women who follow a Mediterranean diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish and olive oil and low in red meat, have a 65 to 68% greater chance of becoming pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby following IVF, compared to women who do not eat Mediterranean.
This association between the Mediterranean diet and the success of IVF, however, was only observed in women over 35 years of age. Beyond this age, hormonal changes could mask the influence of diet. This does not mean that adopting a balanced diet is not important for this age group.
Karayiannis D. et al.: Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and IVF success rate among non-obese women attempting fertility. Human Reproduction,33: 494–502.https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dey003