Lovers of avocados and olive oil have one more reason to sing the praises of these two good foods: They may help women trying to have a baby through the fertility treatment in vitro fertilization, a new study suggests.
The study – conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health and funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health – found that women who consumed the most monounsaturated fats were 3.45 times more likely to have a live birth after IVF than those who ate the lowest amounts.
“The best kinds of food to eat are avocados, which have a lot of monounsaturated fat and low levels of other sorts of fat, and olive oil,” study leader Jorge Chavarro, assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, said, according to Britain’s Daily Mail.
In addition to avocados and olive oil, other foods high in monounsaturated fats include: canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds.
In a news release, Chavarro called the results “interesting,” noting “this is the first time to our knowledge that dietary fats have been linked to treatment outcome in IVF.”
He said different types of fat are known to affect biological processes that might influence the success of assisted reproduction – including inflammation or insulin sensitivity.
But he said it isn’t clear “which biological mechanisms underlie the associations we found,” adding that the results must be “replicated in other studies before making strong recommendations about fat intake to women having infertility treatment.”
The study took place among 147 women undergoing IVF at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. The women were categorized by their intake of different dietary fats, including their total fat intake as well as consumption of saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega 6, omega 3 and trans fats.
“Women eating the highest levels of all types of fat had fewer good eggs available for use in treatment,” according to the Daily Mail. “Professor Chavarro said the link was driven by saturated fat intake, while high levels of polyunsaturated fat consumption produced poorer quality embryos.”
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