Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High Protein Diet May Be Bad For Women Trying To Conceive

Date:
June 29, 2004
Source:
European Society Of Human Reproduction And Embryology
Summary:
A moderately high protein diet could reduce a woman's chances of becoming pregnant, according to new research presented at the 20th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on Monday 28 June.

A moderately high protein diet could reduce a woman's chances of becoming pregnant, according to new research presented at the 20th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on Monday 28 June.

Related Articles


Researchers from the USA have found that a diet containing 25% protein disrupted the normal genetic imprinting pattern in mice embryos at a very early stage in their development. The diet also adversely affected subsequent embryo implantation in the womb and foetal development.

The research was carried out by a team led by Dr David Gardner, Scientific Director of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, Englewood, USA,

Dr Gardner said: "Although our investigations were conducted in mice, our data may have implications for diet and reproduction in humans."

Previous research has shown that the amount of protein in the diet affects the levels of ammonium within the female reproductive tract in cows and mice. It is known that ammonium adversely affects mouse embryos developed in culture in the laboratory, inducing altered imprinting of the H19 gene and retarding foetal development. The H19 gene, found on chromosome 7, is an important gene involved in growth.

Normally, genes act in the same way, whether they are transmitted by the mother or the father. But, a few genes break this genetic rule. Whether they are switched on (expressed) or off depends on whether they are inherited from the mother or the father. The process of inheriting specifically from the mother or the father is called imprinting.

Dr Gardner set out to discover the effect of a moderately high protein diet on imprinting and the viability of mouse blastocysts (early embryos) during reproduction in the living animal.

He fed mice on a diet containing either 25% protein (moderately high) or 14% protein (as the control group) for four weeks. The mice were mated and 42 of the resulting blastocysts were examined to discover the imprinting status of the H19 gene; 174 blastocysts from mice on both diets were transferred to mice eating a normal diet in order to discover the effects of the maternal diet during the preimplantation stages on subsequent foetal development.

"We found that only 36% of blastocysts developed in mothers on the 25% protein diet showed a normal imprinting pattern, compared to 70% in the control group," said Dr Gardner. "Furthermore, only 65% of the embryos in the high protein group developed into foetuses once they had been transferred, compared to 81% in the control group. Not only did fewer embryos develop into foetuses when transferred from the high protein group, but of all the embryos that implanted, only 84% developed further, whereas in the control group 99% of the embryos that implanted continued to develop.

"Analysis of foetal development on the fifteenth day of gestation showed that foetuses from the high protein group were a third of a day behind the control group in their development, and one foetus had a neural tube defect.

"These data show that eating a moderately high protein diet, which results in elevated ammonium levels in the female reproductive tract, adversely affects the preimplantation embryo in the living animal. Blastocysts from mothers on a 25% protein diet exhibited abnormal imprinting of the H19 gene and retarded foetal development after transfer. Furthermore, there was significantly higher foetal loss rate at the preimplantation stage in the 25% protein group. Our observations are consistent with data on embryos developed in the laboratory in the presence of ammonium.

"These findings, together with similar work carried out in cows, mean that it would be prudent to advise couples who are trying to conceive, either naturally or via ART, to ensure that the woman's protein intake is less than 20% of their total energy consumption. The available data certainly indicate that a high protein diet is not advisable while trying to conceive."

###

Abstract no: O-076 (Monday 15.15 hrs CET Hall 7)

Notes

According to the American Heart Association, the average diet in the US consists of 14% protein – the same amount as was used in Dr Gardner's control group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society Of Human Reproduction And Embryology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society Of Human Reproduction And Embryology. "High Protein Diet May Be Bad For Women Trying To Conceive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040629020730.htm>.
European Society Of Human Reproduction And Embryology. (2004, June 29). High Protein Diet May Be Bad For Women Trying To Conceive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040629020730.htm
European Society Of Human Reproduction And Embryology. "High Protein Diet May Be Bad For Women Trying To Conceive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040629020730.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins