nutrition and fertility

What foods and supplements help improve fertility for those trying to conceive naturally and for those undergoing fertility treatment. We talked with Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chavarro’s research is focused on understanding how nutrition and lifestyle impact human reproduction. He is the Principal Investigator of the Nurses’ Health Study 3 – an ongoing prospective cohort of young professional women started in 2010 designed to investigate the role of lifestyle and biologic factors on women’s health – and leads the nutritional component of the EARTH Study, an ongoing prospective cohort of couples undergoing infertility treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Hit the Highlights

How Does Nutrition Impact Fertility

  • We know that women are born with all the eggs they are ever going to have so how does nutrition impact female fertility and egg quality?
  • How does nutrition impact male fertility?
  • How does weight and BMI affect fertility?
  • We know that the microbiome in our reproductive tract is important to fertility. Does what we eat impact this microbiome?

What Foods and Diet are Best for Enhancing Fertility

  • What foods improve natural fertility or the fertility of those in fertility treatment?
  • What is the importance of protein? What type of protein is best
  • Role of carbohydrates in fertility. Low carb? Complex vs simple carbs?
  • Caffeine
  • Soy products

What Supplements are Effective at Improving Fertility

  • What supplements should you take if you are trying to conceive with or without fertility treatment?
  • Prenatal vitamin
  • Micronutrient supplementation
  • Folates
  • CoQ 10
  • Vitamin B12
  • DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)
  • Vitamin D
  • Fish Oil
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Image Credit:  Jill Wellington 

Music credit: Michael Ashworth