Does The Mediterranean diet increase fertility?

The Mediterranean diet is a delicious and wholesome lifestyle. And the good news is that this diet is not only healthy but can even increase fertility.

Finally, a baby: With artificial insemination and the Mediterranean diet, this wish could come true for many couples. According to Greek researchers at Harokopio University in Athens, the Mediterranean diet could additionally increase fertility. In particular, young women in the test group who followed the Mediterranean diet for six months before artificial insemination became pregnant more often than women who usually ate.

 The Mediterranean diet used in the study consists of plenty of fruits and vegetables and vegetable oils, nuts, fish, and poultry. Red meat and salt, like in Greek cuisine – are significantly reduced to reduce the metabolism burden.

The researchers asked 244 women in Greece, aged 22 to 41, how often they ate certain foods before their first fertility treatment. The participants were divided into three groups – based on whether and how often they ate a Mediterranean diet.

Results of the study

  • Women who ate the Mediterranean diet were 50 percent more likely to become pregnant.
  • The women who ate the Mediterranean diet had a birth rate of 49 percent. For those eating a different diet, that chance was 29 percent.
  • For all women younger than 35, the more they followed the Mediterranean diet, the more likely they were to get pregnant and give birth. For the other women, the chance did not increase. 

According to the researcher Meropi Kontogianni, The results from the journal Human Reproduction do not apply to all women.

Because the values say nothing about why this dietary style increases fertility, more studies need to be conducted. Nevertheless, the scientists see a positive effect in a healthier lifestyle. 

Criticism of fertility study

Dr. Norbert Gleicher, a fertility specialist at the Center for Human Reproduction in New York City, sees no link between diet and fertility. “The study design is completely flawed in that patients were assigned three different in vitro fertilization treatment protocols that might be expected to cause different IVF outcomes.”