What Role Does Protein Play in Fertility?

Proteins serve as the structural building blocks for nearly every tissue in our bodies.  They help every major cell in our bodies, from red blood cells to immune cells, to function properly. Undoubtedly, proteins are essential. 

Proteins, of course, provide fuel for our body’s energy requirements. And, as you are about to discover, both quantity and quality are important when it comes to sustaining fertility.

Having said that. Researchers from Harvard discovered that women who consume more protein have a significantly higher risk of ovulatory infertility than those who consume less protein. Specifically, those who consumed an average of 115 grams of protein per day were 41% more likely to report ovulatory infertility than those who consumed only 77 grams per day.

So, the bottom line is to get enough protein while not going overboard with a high-protein diet.

In addition to the various nutritional components contained within a given protein, some protein sources contain environmental contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, etc.), which have been shown to have a negative impact on reproductive health. Before making your choices, visit the IVF centre in Kompally to learn more about your problem and get the best available solutions. 

Obtaining High-Quality Protein for Optimal Fertility

After follow-up research for over 8 years. Researchers discovered that ovulatory infertility cases were more likely to report PCOS manifestations than women reporting infertility due to other causes.

At baseline, they found that women who consumed more animal protein were slightly younger, heavier, less physically active, and more likely to be parous. Women who ate more vegetable protein were slightly older, leaner, and more physically active, were less likely to smoke, use oral contraceptives recently, have long menstrual cycles, and were more likely to be nulliparous.

Women in the highest category of total protein intake had a 41% higher risk of ovulatory infertility than women in the lowest quintile of intake after controlling for potential confounders. The relationship between animal protein intake and ovulatory infertility was very similar to the relationship between total protein intake and ovulatory infertility. In contrast, there was evidence of an inverse relationship between vegetable protein intake and ovulatory infertility.

Meat consumption was found to be associated with ovulatory infertility in multivariate analyses. While keeping calories constant, add one serving of meat such as red meats, chicken, turkey, or processed meats. Fish per day was associated with a 32% increased risk of ovulatory infertility. This increased risk was primarily due to the consumption of chicken and turkey. The most important protein sources in this population, and, to a lesser extent, red meats. Consumption of processed meats, fish, and eggs had no relationship with ovulatory infertility. Consuming foods high in vegetable protein was linked to a slight reduction in the risk of ovulatory infertility. But none of these associations was statistically significant. 

Let us Discuss Fish

So far, it appears that plant-based proteins are beneficial to reproductive health, but what about fish… Is it true that FISH has little impact? 

Couples who consumed two servings of seafood per week on average during a menstrual cycle had a 60% shorter time to pregnancy and a 13% lower incidence of infertility when compared to couples who consumed one or fewer seafood servings during the same period. Even after controlling intercourse frequency, these findings remained significant. Keep in mind that ovulation is only one aspect of reproductive health. 

More recent research found that women who followed a “Pro-Fertility Diet,” which included protein from seafood and soy (along with a few other healthy dietary habits), had a 43 per cent higher chance of clinical pregnancy and a 53 per cent higher chance of having a live birth after IVF. 

Similarly, another study of IVF women found that eating fish positively affected embryo formation on day 5. On the other hand, red meat was linked to decreased embryo formation on day 5. 

Clearly, there’s something to be said for replacing traditional animal proteins like chicken, turkey, and red meat with other healthy protein sources like fish and plants!  

Final Thoughts:

There is clearly more to the story than how much protein you should consume. There is no need to be perplexed about how to apply everything you have just learned. 

  • Increase your protein intake from plants (25–50% of your daily intake if possible). 
  • Prioritize fish proteins over animal proteins from other sources (i.e., poultry, red meat, dairy). 
  • When possible, satisfy your cravings for land-based animal protein with high-quality, organic, or grass-finished products. 

If you are trying to conceive, you should start making healthy eating and lifestyle choices right away. But don’t let stress and worry get the best of you. Oasis fertility in Kompally offers the best doctors with whom you can consult to determine the best available options.

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