The study, coordinated by Dr. Jokin de Irala, Chair Professor of Preventive Medicine, was undertaken with a sample of 2,000 women between 20 and 45 years of age, among whom it was observed that those who most closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet had fewer difficulties in achieving pregnancy.
The volunteers followed one of two possible fundamental dietary patterns: one a more Westernized pattern, and the other a Mediterranean pattern. “The first pattern was characterized by a high consumption of red meats, fast food, whole milk products, prepackaged pastries, potatoes, eggs, refined cereals, processed foods and sugary drinks”, explained one of the project’s researchers, Dr. Estefanía Toledo. “On the other hand, the Mediterranean dietary pattern included a high consumption of olive oil, vegetables, fish, fruits and fowl instead of red meats, as well as a greater consumption of low-fat milk products”, she emphasized.
As a function of these two models, and after performing tracking of the volunteers during an average of six and a half years, the specialists identified that the women who had most closed adhered to the Mediterranean pattern had presented a 44% lower probability of consulting a physician due to having difficulties with becoming pregnant.
Problems of fertility in 10% of couples
In Spain, infertility is a problem which affects 10% of couples, according to the project’s experts. “Among its causes, which can affect both women and women, there stand out ovulation disorders, endometriosis, alterations in the tubes, in the uterine body or the cervix, disorders in the sperm and even psychological factors”, noted Dr. Estefanía Toledo.
Other factors which can affect fertility include lifestyle, the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine, physical activity, etc. For this reason, the specialists advise that a couple should visit a physician when it takes longer than 12 months to achieve pregnancy.
- Laura Juampérez
- Universidad de Navarra
- Contact details:
- (+34) 948 425600 ext. 6620