Diet and Fertility: Is It All About Protein?

Women are NOT mice, nor men

It’s the usual scare tactics again, as a research team concludes that
a moderately high protein diet can impair a woman’s ability for becoming
pregnant. But is this total hype?

Let’s start with the study. It was done in mice, who are known for
their low protein intake, since they prefer grains and your fuzzy bunny
slippers to a good juicy steak. Second, the moderately high protein
diet was only 25% protein based. Granted, this may be high for a mouse,
who is lucky to get even 14% protein in his or her diet, but it is average
for a human, let alone a woman. When the researchers studied the fetuses,
they found that fewer embryos developed who came from “moderately high
protein” diet mothers. In an astonishing jump to conclusion, the researcher
declared:”It would be prudent for women planning to conceive to limit
their protein intake to less than 20% of their total energy consumption.”
Can you hear the flashbulbs popping?

There is no question that diet can manipulate a woman’s hormone status.
In my books I discuss the various studies which show consuming 40% protein
or more in a woman’s diet shifts her estrogen metabolism into the GOOD
pathways rather than the carcinogenic ones, which are stimulated by
high fat and high carb intake. Numerous studies have shown that women
with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a known cause for infertility, can
decrease their insulin resistance and improve their fertility by consuming
a low carbohydrate diet. So why all the “sky is falling” press on this
tiny study in mice?

I don’t need to remind you that millions of dollars are riding on the
public’s preferences for protein over highly processed carbs, only this
time corporations are stabbing each other in the back trying to sensationalize
this pitiful bit of research. Must be a slow news day.

About Larrian
Larrian Gillespie is a gynecologic urologist who received her medical degree from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine and practiced Urology and Urogynecology in Beverly Hills for 15 years before retiring.With an ability to translate “doctor speak” into terms anyone can understand, Larrian has been featured in over 75 magazine stories and numerous television shows, including Good Morning America, CBS Woman to Woman News, and CNN. She has served on the medical advisory board of SHAPE Magazine, Prevention Books, Readers Digest Books,Oxmoor Books, Low Carb Energy and been a frequent source for numerous other publications, including WebMD.

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