A healthy breakfast can help women overcome fertility problems caused by a common hormonal disorder and become pregnant, a new study says.
A team of Israel researchers reported that consuming a high calorie breakfast improved fertility in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder in women that leads to irregular menstrual periods, acne, obesity and excess hair growth. Apart from that, the condition impairs fertility, making women struggle to become pregnant. Infertility is a term used to explain the inability of a woman to conceive after two years of constant efforts.
The high level of insulin resistance associated with the disorder is one of the main factors that causes infertility. The excess production of insulin in the body leads to additional production of testosterone in the ovaries, researchers said.
Researcher Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz found that infertility caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can be effectively treated with insulin management.
Researchers from the Tel Aviv University in Israel and Hebrew University of Jerusalem said that taking a high calorie meal, particularly rich in protein and carbohydrates in the morning, and reducing calorie intake during the rest of the day boosted ovulation and decreased testosterone in women affected with this condition. However, the method can help only women with a normal weight.
Nearly 60 women with PCOS and normal weight participated in the study. According to a 3-month diet plan, the participants were divided into two groups - the big breakfast group (meals with 983, 645, 190 calories during morning, afternoon and night, respectively) or a big dinner group (meals with 190, 645 and 983 calories during morning afternoon and night, respectively).
At the end of the study, people belonging to the big breakfast group achieved 56 percent decrease in insulin resistance and 50 percent decrease in testosterone levels, which further lead to a 50 percent increase in the ovulation rate.
The study has been published in the journal Clinical Science.
The findings come at a time when infertility problems have become a concern across India. The "Helping Families" survey, conducted by a pharmaceutical company in nine major Indian cities, found that infertility rates among Indian couple have shot up recently.