COUNTING CARBS TO CONCEIVE?
The study consisted of 120 women in the study, who were 36 and 37 years of age, and revealed that for some, their daily diet was 60% to 70% carbohydrates. Patients were categorized into 1 of 2 groups: those whose average diet was more than 25% protein (n = 48), and those whose average diet was less than 25% protein (n = 72). There was no difference in average body mass index between the 2 groups (approximately 26 kg/m²).
There were significant differences in IVF response between the 2 groups. Blastocyst development was higher in the high-protein group than in the low-protein group (64% vs 33.8%; P < .002), as were clinical pregnancy rates (66.6% vs 31.9%; P < .0005) and live birth rates (58.3% vs 11.3%; P < .0005). When protein intake was more than 25% of the diet and carbohydrate intake was less than 40%, the clinical pregnancy rate shot up to 80%, as reported in the study.
In a study presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) meeting last year, IVF patients who switched to a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet and then underwent another cycle increased their blastocyst formation rate from 19% to 45% and their clinical pregnancy rate from 17% to 83% (Fertil Steril. 2012;98[Suppl]:S47).
BRINGING IT HOME
“This study has once again focused attention on a healthy life style,” says Nasir Rana, MD, MPH and a Founding Partner of Reproductive Medicine Institute. “At RMI, we always encourage our patients to stick to a routine of healthy eating combined with exercise and stress management. These principles are hallmarks of healthy living, and a healthy body is the ideal start in conceiving a child.”
Dr. Rana went on to say that a healthy lifestyle with a protein rich diet may well have a positive effect on other issues including irregular cycles, endometriosis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). “Healthy living is a part of every fertility protocol that we prescribe,” says Rana. “This latest study helps us to refine, and define it even further.”