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Olive Oil Beneficial During Fertility Treatment

Jul. 9, 2012
Elena Paravantes

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While research has shown that the con­sump­tion of olive oil pro­tects from var­i­ous chronic dis­eases, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health has found a pos­i­tive asso­ci­a­tion asso­ci­a­tion between good fats and pos­i­tive out­comes in women hav­ing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Dietary fat intake has been pre­vi­ously asso­ci­ated with repro­duc­tive health, for exam­ple, a high intake of trans-fats has been asso­ci­ated with ovu­la­tory infer­til­ity and mis­car­riage, while sat­u­rated fats have been related to lower sperm con­cen­tra­tions. But there is lit­tle infor­ma­tion about the effect of dietary fat dur­ing fer­til­ity treat­ment.

This study inves­ti­gated the effect of dietary fat in women hav­ing IVF. The study was pre­sented this week at the annual meet­ing of ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) by Dr Jorge Chavarro, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

The researchers inves­ti­gated intakes of total fat but also sat­u­rated fat, polyun­sat­u­rated fat, monoun­sat­u­rated fat as well as omega‑6, omega‑3 and trans fats. The results of the analy­sis showed that higher intakes of monoun­sat­u­rated fat, the main fat found in olive oil, were related to higher odds of live birth. The odds of a live birth after embryo trans­fer was 3.45 times higher for women who had the high­est intake of monoun­sat­u­rated fat com­pared to those with the low­est intake.

Women with higher intakes of total fat had fewer metaphase II (MII) oocytes (only MII oocytes can be used for IVF) retrieved than women with lower intakes, this asso­ci­a­tion appears to be dri­ven by sat­u­rated fat intake accord­ing to Professor Chavarro. Polyunsaturated fat also had a neg­a­tive effect. Women con­sum­ing the most polyun­sat­u­rated fat had a higher pro­por­tion of poor qual­ity embryos.

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Professor Chavarro noted that it is impor­tant that the results are repli­cated in other stud­ies before mak­ing strong rec­om­men­da­tions about fat intake to women hav­ing infer­til­ity treat­ment. However, olive oil, one of the best sources of monoun­sat­u­rated fats has been proven to be ben­e­fi­cial in gen­eral and it is rec­om­mended to any­body includ­ing woman under­go­ing IVF to include olive oil in their diet.



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