Ice Cream and Infertility

Isn’t it great when medical research validates our vices? Like, the research recently released that dark chocolate is good for the cardiovascular system and the brain. Well, more good news tonight for women: eating ice cream could actually help improve one’s fertility!

Before you get all excited, this may be too good to be true. It’s possible the findings are correct, but there are confusing messages here: the main one--forget low fat dairy foods, and instead, eat at least one serving a day of high fat dairy products, preferably----ice cream. The latest research in the journal human production actually says that intake of high fat dairy foods may decrease one’s risk of a type of infertility called anovulatory infertility.

 Dr. Jennifer Wu, an OB-GYN at Lenox Hill Hospital, says, “They are patients that don’t ovulate every month so they have trouble getting pregnant because they’re not releasing the egg in a timely fashion. Anovulatory infertility can be caused by many factors; patients can have problems with their hormones, problems with their thyroid. Often time’s patients at the extremes of weight, extremely underweight or extremely overweight will have problems with ovulation.”

 Yes, the implication is that eating ice cream is better for baby making than that low fat stuff. The study found the bad guys, this time, isn’t ice cream or milk shakes; its skim milk, low fat cottage cheese, and fat free yogurt. Overall, women who ate two or more low-fat dairy products a day were nearly twice as likely to have trouble conceiving than women who ate less than one serving of these foods a week. Ice cream in particular was the best. One serving a week lowered the risk slightly; two servings of ice cream lowered the risk 38%.

The explanation: well, there are a lot of theories, but no one knows for sure. “When a patient has a problem with infertility we have to carefully examine their lifestyle and their diet and we may need to consider whether they need more dairy products and whether they need more fat in their diet,”states Dr. Wu. Here’s the problem: it’s all still unverified, and a lot of hypothesis and few confirmed facts.

It may all be as simple as this: women who diet aggressively, like those with eating disorders, lose their period due to this anovulatory infertility. So the low fat milk intake may simply be a sign of dieting. Many experts believe to change important and existing dietary recommendations to all Americans--to take in low fat or no fat dairy foods, because they’re good sources of calcium and Vitamin D, and they have been shown to lower blood pressure and diabetes risk--is confusing, and must be vetted with more research.


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