To Heck with Low-Fat, Eat Ice Cream

There's not a lot of good research out there yet on connections between nutrition and fertility, but the body of literature is growing. Nutrition impacts are huge in virtually any realm of health, physical and mental, so there's always been a bunch of folks out there who are just waiting on the edge of their seats for the Magic Fertility Food to be found. Now, we're seeing headlines that scream about ice cream and how eating it might help you get pregnant. Dr Jorge Chavarro, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, is going to be the hero of many women. For this study, he and his team combed 18,555 women research subjects out of 116,000 who had participated in The Nurses' Health Study II. These 18k were ages 24 to 42, had no infertility history, and either tried to or became pregnant somewhere between 1991 and 1999. The women answered periodic surveys about, among other things, what they ate and drank. Of the lot, 438 turned up infertile because of ovulation problems, specifically. The data led researchers to conclude there's an 85% increased of anovulatory (meaning lack of ovulation) infertility for women who ate two or more servings of low-fat dairy food every day, when compared to women who ate one or fewer servings per week. Here's the happiest part, why we love this study: They found a 27% decreased risk of infertility for those who ate high-fat dairy food one or more times a day, as compared to women eating one serving only once or less often in a week. Incredibly, it gets even better: They say that more is optimal. The more ice cream the subjects ate, the lower their risk of anovulatory infertility. Ice cream twice or more a week equalled (for the study subjects) a 38% lower risk of such fertility problems, compared to someone eating ice cream less than once a week. Before you grab your pints and spoons, know the rest. While the lead Doc says go ahead and trade out your low-fat dairy for the good stuff, he warns that you should be prepared to switch back to low-fat once you're preggo. And while you're still trying to conceive and digging that sweet cream, Chavarro says to maintain your normal caloric intake and limit staturated fats overall. Oh. It's not that ice cream is the Magic Fertility Food. It's more about a still mysterious fat-soluble substance that probably makes your ovaries work better. Okay. Works for me! Read about A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory fertility. Human Reproduction. doi:10.1093/humrep/dem019
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