A new study
by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University
reveals that eating a good breakfast can have a positive impact on women with
problems of infertility.
years, nutritional research has found that our weight is affected not only by
the level of calorie intake, but also by the question of when to consume large
amounts of calories.
research, conducted by Prof Oren Froy, director of the Nutrigenomics and
Functional Foods Research Centre at the Robert H Smith Faculty of Agriculture,
Food and Environment of the Hebrew University, and Ma'ayan Barnea, plus Prof
Daniela Jocabovitz and Dr Julio Weinstein from Tel Aviv University and Wolfson
Medical Centre, shows that a big breakfast increases fertility among woman who
suffer from menstrual irregularities.
examined whether meal times have an impact on the health of woman with
menstrual irregularities due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS affects
approximately 6%-10% of woman of reproductive age, disrupting their
reproductive abilities. This syndrome creates a resistance to insulin, leading
to an increase in male sex hormones (androgens), and can also cause menstrual
irregularities, hair loss on the scalp though increase in body hair, acne,
fertility problems and future diabetes.
experiment was carried out at Wolfson Medical Centre on 60 women over a 12-week
period. The women, from the ages of 25 to 39, were thin with a BMI (body mass
index) of less than 23 and suffered from PCOS.
were divided into two groups and were allowed to consume about 1,800 calories a
day. The difference between the groups was the timing of their largest meal.
One group consumed their largest meal, approximately 980 calories, at breakfast,
while the other at dinner. Researchers wanted to examine whether the schedule
of calorie intake affects insulin resistance and the increase in androgens
among woman suffering from PCOS. The women kept records of exactly what they
Timing more important
findings, recently published in the journal, "Clinical Science,"
showed improved results for the group that consumed a big breakfast. Glucose
levels and insulin resistance decreased by 8%, while the second group
("dinner") showed no changes. Another finding showed that among the
"breakfast" group, testosterone (one of the androgens) levels
decreased by nearly 50%, while the "dinner" group level stayed
neutral. In addition, there was a much higher rate of ovulating woman within
the "breakfast group" compared to the "dinner" group,
showing that eating a hearty breakfast leads to an increase in the level of
fertility among woman with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
to Prof Froy, "The research clearly demonstrates that indeed the number
of calories we consume daily is very important, but the timing as to when we
consume them is even more important."