High Fat Dairy May Help Boost Fertility

Despite the fact that federal nutritional guidelines recommend that adults consume only low-fat dairy products, a new study discovered a link between eating high fat dairy foods, such as premium ice cream, and increased fertility. The results from the well-known Nurses Health Study at the Harvard School of Public Health were published in the June 27, 2007 issue of the European journal Human Reproduction.

The researchers found that a diet rich in premium ice cream and other high-fat dairy foods may lower the risk of one type of infertility. Just two servings a week of the high-fat dairy products may reduce a woman’s infertility by 38 percent. According to Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, the lead researcher and a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Medicine, the fat in the ice cream or other full-fat dairy foods might make the ovaries work more efficiently. He also believes that the boost to ovary functioning may be caused by a substance inside the fat. More studies need to be conducted to validate these theories.

Dr. Chavarro and his team also found that women who consume two or more low-fat or nonfat dairy items, such as skim milk or low-fat yogurt, may increase their infertility risk by 85 percent. Again, the researchers are not sure why this occurs, but a lack of fat may be responsible.