‘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.