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Importance of fat in diet of women ttc - imporant research findings

(12 Posts)
Fingerscrossed2007 Wed 28-Feb-07 09:59:17

This has been bubbling news where I work (health). The research findings are finally out today.

A diet rich on low-fat dairy food may make it harder for some women to conceive, according to a study involving thousands of US women. Harvard researchers found women who frequently ate these foods were 85% more likely to have ovulation problems.

The articles have been illustrated with pictures of eatign ice-cream but it is a very serious and scientifically valid piece of research.

I'm not a dairy fan but i will definately be adjusign my diet to include organic dairy on a regular basis whilst TTC.

Sorry that i don't know how to do the flashy links


Impatience Wed 28-Feb-07 12:13:42

Anyone else feel stressed by this? I am a skimmed milk girl, loving my Skinny Cow ice-creams and always having extra light cream cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese etc.

BUT does this reflect something about the low-fat dairy products per se, or generally lower fat ratios in people who tend to choose the low fat versions of dairy products? What is it about low fat dairy products that could have a 'male hormone effect'?

CristinaTheAstonishing Wed 28-Feb-07 12:18:10

I don't think it's a "male hormone effect", rather that high-fat foods may have a higher oestrogen content. Any effect from this study only applies to infertility due to anovulatory causes (approx 15% of infertility causes). This is from an article in The Times, I haven't read the original study.

PinkElephant Wed 28-Feb-07 14:11:24

This is news to me....there's always something new with diet. I'm the same as you Impatience, as much as I love diary I do try and eat the low fat options as the full fat are loaded with calories and clog up the old cardiac arteries and increase cholesterol levels. It didn't stop me from conceiving in december but then again I didn't manage to hang onto it. Oh take it with a large pinch of salt I say....ooops not too large as also bad for the heart. All sooo confusing!!!

fruitful Wed 28-Feb-07 14:26:45

the bbc one

the independent

JodieG1 Wed 28-Feb-07 14:30:01

I eat full fat cheese, dairylea light, semi skimmed milk and normal ice creams. I do eat a lot of dairy products. I've been pregnant 8 times. 4 miscarriages in a row but got only took a couple of months to get pregnant and another miscarriage after ds1. I do have 3 healthy children.

fruitful Wed 28-Feb-07 14:31:37

I think it says, if you sometimes don't ovulate, eat more full-fat dairy?

And the low-fat stuff may cause a problem, and the lack of the high-fat may cause a problem?

So I need to go and eat some Haagen-Dazs with chocolate sauce, right? Oh hang on, I don't have problems with ovulation. Can I have the ice-cream anyway?

Fingerscrossed2007 Wed 28-Feb-07 14:49:15

I've got the full report. As an ex vegan I do tend towards the dairy free but the study has won me over.

About a year ago my gynae did advise that research was showing that fat intake may have an influence on cycles. He was also very clear that dairy intake should be organic. As a result I started to have butter and the occaisonal semi-skimmed milk in tea.

Am now going to up this a bit more. The study indicates that even 1 but ideally 2 servings a day are effective. The way i think about it is that it is short term but anything that could work is worth trying. I can always change my diet again after having baby 1

Fingerscrossed2007 Wed 28-Feb-07 14:52:08

and anyway its a good excuse to eat some yummy stuff!

Ready Wed 28-Feb-07 19:14:36

I read this today in the Times and got quite annoyed, actually.
I think it is important to take from it the pertinent point... that low fat dairy could be a reason for anovulation not a blanket cause for fertility problems on the whole.

High fat dairy with its high oestrogen content can be considered a fertility booster.So is it possible to say that those eating the high fat are just more fertile because of this and that those eating low fat dairy are just experiencing normal incidences of anovulation and therefore fertility issues?

I have no idea if I have constructed my thoughts in a reasoned way... but I have thought about this all day and I needed to share

I only have skimmed milk, not because of the fat content, because I don't like the taste of the semi and whole. I eat low fat yoghurts. But I eat full fat cheese and ice cream every now and then. I am certainly not going to worry about the findings. If we worried about every new set of research, we would eat anything!!

CristinaTheAstonishing Wed 28-Feb-07 20:15:54

I see what you mean, Ready, about whether eating high fat gives the oestrogen levels an extra boost and what do we take as "normal". I suppose low-fat methods are relatively recent in human diet, so these wouldn't be the "norm". But then didn't I read that lactose enzymes are also - evolutionary speaking - a relatively new acquisition?

Ready Thu 01-Mar-07 10:23:30

I think I mean that eating the low fat dairy itself could be considered the "norm" today (since everyone is conscious of heart disease and cholesterol levels and diabetes etc etc) - just that the incidences of fertility issues relating to anovulation could be perceived as a usual amount perhaps? And that the fact that women who eat full fat dairy are actively preventing anovulation in some way??? or just ensuring ovulation??

I am no scientist, and it's all just thoughts really. I just think that it is possible to worry too much about certain things. If everyone who wants to get pregnant starts eating full fat dairy then puts on weight and pressure on their arteries - what kind of shape will they be in when it comes to labour?? It just seems to be catch-22.

There is definitely something worth taking from the study. But I just don't like the way it is reported that "we should eat x to prevent y" then the next day its "we shouldn't eat x because it will cause z".

Right, enough of my waffle

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