High-fat dairy foods such as ice cream and whole fat milk may be better choices for women who are trying to get pregnant than low-fat dairy products such as yoghurt and skim milk, a US study suggests.
The eight-year study of 18 555 women, ages 24 to 42, found that those who ate two or more servings of low-fat dairy products a week were 85 percent more likely to experience ovulation-related infertility than women who ate less than one serving of low-fat dairy products a week.
Women who ate at least one serving of high-fat dairy food a week were 27 percent less likely to experience ovulation-related infertility than those who ate one serving or less of high-fat dairy food a week.
The findings are published in the February 28 issue of the journal Human Reproduction.
Improves ovarian function
High-fat dairy foods may decrease the risk of infertility because they contain a fat-soluble substance that improves ovarian function, the study authors said.
Further research is needed to confirm or refute this link between low-fat dairy products and ovulation-related (anovulatory) infertility, noted study lead author Dr Jorge Chavarro, a research fellow in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
"Clarifying the role of dairy foods intake on fertility is particularly important since current Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume three or more daily servings of low-fat milk or equivalent dairy products, a strategy that may well be deleterious for women planning to become pregnant as it would give them an 85 percent higher risk of anovulatory infertility according to our findings," Chavarro said in a prepared statement.
Until further research findings become available, Chavarro said women who are trying to get pregnant should eat high-fat dairy products but switch back to low-fat dairy foods once they do conceive.