Friday 4 November 2011

Can a wrong diet lead to Infertility?

Women with a high intake of trans fatty acids instead of carbohydrates or unsaturated fats have an increased risk for ovulatory infertility, according to the results of a study reported in the January issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Most people do know about the existence of saturated and unsaturated fats but are unaware of the dangers posted by transfats. Transunsaturated fatty acids, (full form of Transfats), which were previously implicated and known to be notorious for increasing the risk for causing heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes mellitus and even a few cancers have now been found to cause infertility in women. During research, it was found that women who were unable to conceive had excess intake of transfats in their diets. Transfats when assimilated in the body caused ovulation defects, which were making these women infertile apart from many other causes.

Trans fat is found in numerous foods - commercially packaged goods, commercially fried food such as pizzas, french fries and chicken nuggets, margarine, commercial baked goods like donuts, cookies and crackers. Even simple foods like Popcorn do contain some amount of these Transfats. Any packaged goods that contain "partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils", "hydrogenated vegetable oils" or "shortening" most likely contain Trans fat. A lot of food products do list the content of transfat in the composition of the food. For those labels not listing the amount of trans fatty acids in countries where trans-fat labeling law does not exist, here is how you can figure it out on your own: add up the values for saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. If the number is less than the "Total fats" shown on the label, the unaccounted is transfat.

Trans fatty acids are manufactured fats created during a process called hydrogenation, which is aimed at stabilizing polyunsaturated oils to prevent them from becoming rancid and to keep them solid at room temperature. Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues decided to test the hypotheses that trans unsaturated fatty acids (TFAs) increase the risk of ovulatory infertility whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) reduce this risk. Infertility, defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse, affects 10% to 15% of couples
The investigators prospectively followed up a cohort of 18,555 married women without a history of infertility who attempted to conceive or who became pregnant between 1991 and 1999. During follow-up, diet was evaluated twice with a food-frequency questionnaire.

There were 438 incidents of ovulatory infertility reported during follow-up. Trans unsaturated fats may increase the risk of ovulatory infertility when consumed instead of carbohydrates or unsaturated fats commonly found in nonhydrogenated vegetable oils.

It is advisable that during infertility treatment patients apart from taking Medicine and other precautions they should avoid as far as possible foods containing these Transfats

Women with high risk of Type -2 Diabetes and heart disease should also cut down on these Transfats .

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