The study consisted of 120 women, 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.”