Mediterranean diet could improve fertility treatment outcomes

Rebecca Krispin Uncategorised

CRE HiPP researchers are examining whether the Mediterranean diet could alleviate inflammation, an underlying health factor thought to compromise fertility treatment success. 

About one in nine couples of reproductive age in Australia experience fertility problems, and many seek Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to up their chances of conceiving. 

Although ART success rates have improved significantly in recent years, only around 18% of ART cycles in Australia and New Zealand result in a live birth.

While fertility treatments offer some hope, factors like inflammation can undermine their progress. 

According to experts, a simple diet adjustment can help to address this issue. 

CRE HiPP Early- and Mid-Career Researcher (EMCR) Small Grant Scheme recipients Dr Anthony Villani, Dr Evangeline Mantzioris and Associate Professor Lisa Moran believe the Mediterranean diet is the answer. 

“The Mediterranean diet which is rich in fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and extra-virgin olive oil provides a rich supply of anti-inflammatory factors,” Chief Investigator and Mediterranean diet specialist Dr Mantzioris said. 

“Research to date has shown the preconception nutrition of the woman may impact on the success of ART.” 

To enhance accessibility, the research team are curating a prescription of the Mediterranean diet, with educational tools to match. 

This is so couples in the preconception life phase can incorporate the eating style with ease.  

“The team is passionate about how the foods you eat impact on your health,” Dr Mantzioris said. 

“The Mediterranean diet is increasingly being shown to be beneficial for many lifestyle diseases.” 

While the research is still in the developmental stages, the next step will be a pilot study where a group of participants will be prescribed the Mediterranean diet and resources to follow.  

“We are hopeful that if results are positive, we will be able to upscale to a bigger trial,” Dr Mantzioris said. 

“This will be really exciting for our team.”

The Mediterranean diet could improve fertility treatment outcomes by reducing inflammation