Fer­til­ity fried by hot food

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - BRIGID O’CON­NELL

A PRE-PREG­NANCY diet that avoids sugar, grilled, fried and roasted foods will be tested as a fer­til­ity booster, af­ter Mel­bourne re­searchers found these items had “toxic” ef­fects on the womb.

One in six Aus­tralian cou­ples ex­pe­ri­ence in­fer­til­ity, with obese women par­tic­u­larly more likely to strug­gle get­ting preg­nant, have an early mis­car­riage or com­pli­ca­tions dur­ing preg­nancy or labour.

Re­searchers from the Hud­son In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Re­search and Monash Univer­sity have found that cer­tain proteins in­side the uterus be­come toxic af­ter ex­po­sure to sugar and other foods cooked at high heat, a process that trig­gers in­flam­ma­tion in the womb of in­fer­tile women who are obese.

“We can have a fer­tile seed, an ab­so­lutely per­fect em­bryo, but un­less the lin­ing of the womb, the en­dometrium, is ac­tu­ally ready to re­ceive the em­bryo then preg­nancy can’t oc­cur,” said lead re­searcher Dr Jemma Evans.

Ad­vanced gly­ca­tion end prod­ucts (AGEs) are com­pounds that oc­cur nat­u­rally in the body, but also ac­cu­mu­late through con­sump­tion of high sugar or highly pro­cessed foods, as well as foods that are cooked us­ing high heat such as grilling, caramelis­ing, roast­ing or fry­ing.

The team an­a­lysed en­dome­trial tis­sue and a uterus wash of 33 lean and obese women. Obese women had higher lev­els of AGEs, which detri­men­tally al­tered cells in the lin­ing of the womb and re­duced an em­bryo’s abil­ity to im­plant.

Dr Evans said while AGEs had been linked to com­pli­ca­tions in di­a­betes and de­gen­er­a­tive con­di­tions such as Alzheimer’s dis­ease, stud­ies had shown that diet could re­verse their harm­ful ef­fects in as lit­tle as four weeks.

“If we stuck to guide­lines that tell us to have a mainly plant-based diet full of whole grains we’d be healthy, but that mes­sage has been lost in our mod­ern life­style,” she said.

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