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Protein and Fertility: Is Protein a Fertility Booster?

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Everyone wants to know the right thing to eat when they are trying to conceive a baby. Is there a magic kale plant out there that will help make conception come along quicker?

Well, apparently it’s not about the salad – it’s all about protein! At least according to one new study that looked at women who ate a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates while undergoing in vitro fertilization. The high protein eaters had higher pregnancy rates than those that chose carbs over burgers!

Couple Enjoying Burgers TogetherProtein and Fertility: Essential for quality embryos

“Protein is essential for good quality embryos and better egg quality, it turns out,” study researcher Dr. Jeffrey Russell, director of the Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine, said in a statement.

Patients whose protein intake represented 25% or more of their daily diet, and whose carbohydrate intake was 40% or less, had pregnancy rates four times higher than those who ate less protein and more carbs while undergoing in vitro fertilization.

Researchers asked 120 women undergoing IVF to keep a three day nutritional journal before they had an embryo transfer. Forty-eight women had an average daily protein intake greater than 25%, while 72 had an average intake under 25%percent. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is generally recommended that people get between 10 and 35% percent of their daily calories from protein.)

Research shows link between high protein and fertility

So, if you are trying to conceive should you be reaching for the protein? The question of a high protein, low carb diet is still controversial among fertility doctors but research does point to yes. “The Fertility Diet” is a book that stems from a 2007 study led by researchers at Harvard University. They used data from more than 18,000 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study, one of the longest-running investigations into women’s health in the U.S. Research concluded that women who ate a diet rich in full fat dairy products were less likely to have problems conceiving.

See a protein link here? Please put some cheese on my burger and pass the ovulation kit!

Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen - Fertility Advocate Pamela Madsen was the first Executive Director of RESOLVE NYC and is the Founder of The American Fertility Association. Pamela is an internationally known fertility advocate who has appeared on Oprah and countless other major media outlets. Currently, Pamela is a fertility coach and publisher of The Fertility Advocate. She is also a blogger for Psychology Today and SpermCheck® Fertility.