Can a ‘fertility diet’ really help you conceive? –

Can a ‘fertility diet’ really help you conceive? –

Ultimate diets
Graeme Robertson/Getty Images Graeme Robertson/Getty Images Related content (CNN) - When it comes to diets, there are many varieties from which to choose: weight loss, plans to lower cholesterol and manage diabetes, and foods to fuel endurance athletes. Now, there's a diet that claims it can boost a woman's chances of having a baby. The diet was developed by Drs. Jorge Chavarro and Walter Willett, both of the Harvard School of Public Health, based on their extensive data analysis of the Nurses' Health Study, one of the largest and longest-running studies of women's health in America. After reviewing the diets of more than 18, 000 women who did not have a history of infertility but who were trying to get pregnant, they found that the quality of your diet, along with how active you are and whether you smoke, can stack the reproductive deck in your favor. For those having trouble conceiving, "high-tech medicine isn't the only answer, " Chavarro and Willett wrote in their book, "The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant." What other experts say Other experts say Chavarro and Willett's diet may be ....

Amanda Kallen, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale Fertility Center. Also, women who are overweight or obese are more likely to have imbalances in insulin levels, in testosterone levels and in levels of FSH and LSH, and these hormones drive the growth of follicles and ovulation, Kallen explained. "There's definitely data to suggest that coming back to normal weight can help those problems and promote ovulation, but there is not enough data to conclude definitively that one diet helps more than another." Martha McKittrick, a registered dietitian and PCOS expert, said, "I've had many women who lost weight and got pregnant. The question is, did they get pregnant because they lost weight, or because they followed the other recommendations from the fertility diet? "If a woman is overweight and trying to conceive, I try to help them lose weight. That, to me, is number one, " McKittrick said. "Losing 10% of your weight (or 20 pounds if you weigh 200) improves insulin sensitivity and helps women with PCOS ovulate." But a woman with PCOS can be lean and still be insulin-resistant, which can interfere with ovulation -- in which case the diet quality becomes a ....

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