‘Rain­bow diet’ boosts fer­til­ity, says nu­tri­tion­ist


Dubai: it is the rain­bow colour s—red, or­ange, yel­low, green, blue, indigo, and vi­o­let—of fruits and veg­eta­bles— that will be of big help to get in­fer­tile cou­ples—not only women—but also men—over­come their plight and bear their own chil­dren.

UK’S lead­ing nu­tri­tion­ist spe­cial­is­ing in women’s health Dr. Mar­i­lyn Glenville told The Gulf To­day, “It has to be a re­ally healthy diet that has a good amount of fruits and veg­eta­bles. I would still use the phy­toe­stro­gens be­cause they have a bal­anc­ing ef­fect in hor­mones, in case it is the woman’s hor­mones that are mak­ing it di­fi­cult for her to con­ceive.”

Ex­am­ples of phy­toe­stro­gens are soya, legumes, fen­nel, cel­ery, laxseeds, whole grains and pars­ley.

Re­gard­ing male im­po­tency, she said, “The in­ter­est­ing thing about male fer­til­ity is that nor­mally when a man has a prob­lem it is the woman who is go­ing for the IVF (in-vitro fer­til­iza­tion) treat­ment.

“So even if a woman may not have a fer­til­ity prob­lem, be­cause of what is go­ing on with the man, she needs some­thing more high tech.


“How­ever, re­search shows there is an enor­mous amount a man can do to im­prove his fer­til­ity.

Re­search about male fer­til­ity has gone to­wards all anti-ox­i­dant. So again, it is about eat­ing a rain­bow (of) fruits and veg­eta­bles.”

Glenville added other male fer­til­ity boost­ers are “good lev­els of Vi­ta­mins E and C while se­le­nium and zinc “make a huge dif­fer­ence. She highly rec­om­mended the amino acids of argi­nine and car­ni­tine, “They have huge ef­fects.”

Say­ing that a “new batch of sperm is pro­duced every three months,” she also said men with in­fer­til­ity is­sues ‘have three months to im­prove’ on their state.

The for­mer Royal So­ci­ety of Medicine­food and Health Fo­rum pres­i­dent was in­ter­viewed as the gulf to­day had ob­tained a copy of the “So­cio­cul­tural In­lu­ences on Fer­til­ity in the Mid­dle East: The Role of Parental Con­san­guin­ity, Obe­sity and Vi­ta­min D De­iciency.”

The pa­per was au­thored by Dr. Ju­lia Bos­dou, Dr. Ef­s­tra­tios Koli­b­ianakis, Dr. Basil Tar­latzis, and Abu Dhabi-based Dr. Hu­man Fatemi of the IVI Mid­dle East Fer­til­ity Clinic.

The same fer­til­ity cen­tre also has re­cent records as per data from Dr. Laura Me­lado about “ibroids larger than six cen­time­ters in di­am­e­ter, im­ped­ing con­cep­tion by 70 per cent.”

Over in Dubai and from Bourn Hall Fer­til­ity Cen­tre-group med­i­cal di­rec­tor Dr. David Robert­son, com­mented on the ob­ser­va­tion that across the UAE, “the av­er­age num­ber of chil­dren born per woman has fallen from 4.39 in 1990 to 1.7 in 2016.”


He said, “There is prob­a­bly in­creased aware­ness of treat­ment op­tions but also prob­a­bly a true in­crease in in­fer­til­ity. sperm counts are slowly drop­ping, obe­sity and meta­bolic prob­lems are in­creas­ing, and more re­cently, there have been sig­ni­icant in­creases in sex­u­ally-trans­mit­ted dis­eases that can lead to in­fer­til­ity.”

On hy­povit­o­mi­nosis, the doc­u­ment show­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Vi­ta­min D and fe­male fer­til­ity states: “The wide­spread dis­tri­bu­tion of the Vi­ta­min D re­cep­tor in re­pro­duc­tive tis­sues in­clud­ing ovaries, en­dometrium, and pla­centa in hu­mans and an­i­mals, sug­gests a role for the vi­ta­min’s role in fer­til­ity. Vi­ta­min D de­iciency is con­sid­ered to be re­spon­si­ble for a re­duced prob­a­bil­ity of im­preg­na­tion and an in­creased risk of preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tions.”

Fatemi said in­su­fi­cient Vi­ta­min D lev­els af­fect sev­eral body func­tions that in­clude re­pro­duc­tion. It af­fects the sperm and egg qual­ity as it has been proven to be also re­lated with “low ovar­ian re­serve.”

“This is wide­spread in the Mid­dle East due to so­cio-cul­tural lifestyle.”

He said Vi­ta­min D lev­els and its me­tab­o­lites could be as­sessed through tests such as blood anal­y­sis.

Mean­while, Glenville said that ac­cord­ing to re­search, low Vi­ta­min D lev­els in men have re­sulted in not only “poor sperm count” but also “poor sperm motil­ity” or move­ment.

For her, in­fer­tile cou­ples must un­dergo Vi­ta­min D tests to help re­solve their prob­lem.

“The in­ter­est­ing thing about Vi­ta­min D is that it mod­u­lates our im­mune sys­tem. So for a woman to get and stay preg­nant (and not suf­fer from mis­car­riages), her im­mune sys­tem has to be sup­pressed in order to ac­cept for­eign DNA from her part­ner,” said Glenville.


Ac­cord­ing to Glenville, a woman with very strong im­mune sys­tem face preg­nancy di­fi­cul­ties as well as high prob­a­bil­i­ties of mis­car­riage “be­cause her im­mune sys­tem is too strong and does not hold on to the for­eign DNA.”

In her prac­tice in the UAE, Me­lado has noted of the fol­low­ing: one in nine of her women pa­tients has the be­nign or non-can­cer­ous ibroids or masses of mus­cle cells and ibrous tis­sues lodged in­side their uterus or womb.

“De­pend­ing on where a ibroid is grow- ing and its size, it is pos­si­ble for a ibroid to pre­vent or in­ter­fere with con­cep­tion.”

Me­lado added this con­di­tion com­mon among the re­pro­duc­tive age group “may lead to im­plan­ta­tion fail­ure, mis­car­riage or pre-term de­liv­ery.”

Fatemi, Robert­son and Me­lado said the non-stop evo­lu­tion of IVF treat­ments and ge­netic tests have con­trib­uted a lot to suc­cess­ful preg­nan­cies around the world.

Glenville’s so­lu­tion to Vi­ta­min D de­iciency: lots of sun ex­po­sure as this could only be ob­tained in small amounts from oily ish, egg yolk and for­ti­ied foods.

An­other Glenville diet and nu­tri­tion tip for in­fer­tile women in­clude the min­i­mum of “ive kinds of fruits and veg­eta­bles a day” that also calls for a pro­tein-rich diet.

“For the pro­tein, it could be a mix of veg­eta­bles and an­i­mals pro­tein but it has to be enough. I am per­son­ally not keen on red meat or meat in gen­eral.”for the ve­gan, Glenville strongly sug­gested for nuts, seeds, beans, quinoa, chick­peas and lentils.

She said re­mov­ing all forms of caffeine from one’s diet will help de­ter mis­car­riages.

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