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NEWSWEEK: Cover: Health for Life: Fertility & Diet
Date:12/2/2007

Harvard Researchers Show How Exercise and the Right Foods May Help You Get

Pregnant

Ice Cream, Pasta, Whole Fruit and Unsaturated Fats Can Help Prevent

Ovulatory Infertility

NEW YORK, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest chapter of Newsweek's ongoing "Health For Life" series focuses on the newest research on how foods impact the odds of getting pregnant. Harvard University researchers Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett, authors of the new book "The Fertility Diet," break down the roles diet, exercise and weight control play in conception and weigh in on their surprising findings.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071202/NYSU003 )

In the December 10 Newsweek cover "Fertility & Diet" (on newsstands Monday, December 3), Chavarro, Willett and Skerrett offer details of their plan, which actually encourages eating foods such as ice cream, is virtually free, available to everyone, has no side effects, sets the stage for a healthy pregnancy, and forms the foundation of a healthy eating strategy for motherhood and beyond. For their groundbreaking book, the three researchers turned to more than 18,000 women taking part in the Nurses' Health Study, a long-term research project looking at the effects of diet and other factors on the development of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and other diseases. The women in the study also said they were trying to have babies. Most women were successful, but about one in six had some trouble getting pregnant, including hundreds who experienced ovulatory infertility-a problem related to the maturation or release of a mature egg each month. The researchers noticed key differences after comparing the diets, exercise habits and lifestyle choices of these women compared with those of women who readily got pregnant.

Some of the keys include eating slowly digested carbohydrates such as brown rice, dark breads, beans, vegetables, and whole fruits; adding in unsaturated fats while taking out trans fats, and getting more protein from plants and less from animals. Another fascinating finding from the Nurses' Health Study is that a daily serving or two of whole milk and foods made from whole milk-full-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and, yes, even ice cream-seem to offer some protection against ovulatory infertility, while skim and low-fat milk do the opposite. The Fertility Diet also stresses the importance of exercising and maintaining a Body Mass Index between 20 and 24.

Also in the cover package:

-- General Editor Mary Carmichael reports on some of the latest insights

into the complex machinery of genetics and life itself. For years

scientists have known that certain genes can be turned on and off by

chemical switches, but only recently have they begun to understand

that these switches are a crucial link between the DNA and the outside

world. Researchers once saw the order of the base pairs in DNA as a

sort of unchanging blueprint. Researchers now know that chemical

switches are responsible for directing almost all of the body's

fundamental functions. As much as the genes themselves, they are the

biological builders that make us who we are.

-- Reporter Anne Underwood reports on memory loss and the ways people can

keep their minds sharper than ever. Scientists are busy looking into

the workings of how the mind creates and stores memories to better

understand age-related declines in retention as well as developing

drugs and exercises that help

push your aging brain to recall more.

-- Contributing Editor Barbara Kantrowitz reports on the new research and

insights into the complex hormonal symphony of sustaining the human

skeleton, and why fractures are caused by the most common bone

disease, osteoporosis. Researchers are working on finding

individualized ways of treating and perhaps even curing the crippling

disease.

-- Researchers are looking into whether the bacteria, fungi and microbes

inside the small and large intestines play a major role in influencing

weight. If true, this could provide new strategies for weight control,

write Patrick J. Skerrett and W. Allan Walker, M.D.

-- Seven Harvard experts also share their thoughts on specific health

care issues that ought be addressed, and the steps that should be

taken to fix America's ailing health system. Some of their suggestions

include eliminating racial disparities, ensuring that every American

has health insurance, using quality-of-care report cards and fixing

the Medicare Drug Benefit.

Links:

Cover: http://www.newsweek.com/id/73354

DNA: http://www.newsweek.com/id/73355

Memory Loss: http://www.newsweek.com/id/73356

Bone Loss: http://www.newsweek.com/id/73360

Intestinal Microbes: http://www.newsweek.com/id/73357

Health Care: http://www.newsweek.com/id/73358

(Read cover story at http://www.Newsweek.com)


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SOURCE Newsweek
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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