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High-Protein Diet Found To Reduce Fertility

A high-protein diet, could make it hard for a woman to get pregnant, say researchers based on finding of a recent study .//

For the study researchers looked at how the maternal diet prior to conception affects subsequent embryo implantation in the womb and development of the fetus. They found that a diet consisting of 25 percent protein disrupted normal gene imprinting patterns in mice embryos at an early stage in their development. Some mice were fed a diet containing 25 percent protein. The control group was fed 14 percent protein. The mice were then mated. Embryos from females on the high-protein diet developed into fetuses in the womb only 65 percent of the time compared to 81 percent in the control group.

Of all of the embryos in the high-protein group that were successfully implanted in the womb, only 84 percent continued to develop to 15 days, whereas in the control group 99 percent of the implanted embryos continued to develop. Fetuses that did develop to 15 days from the high-protein group were then a third of a day behind the control group in development, and one fetus had a neural tube defect.

Thus researchers say the data shows that eating a diet of 25 percent protein results in elevated ammonium levels in the female reproductive tract, which has been shown to alter fetus development. Based on the available data researchers suggest that a high protein diet is not advisable while trying to conceive .

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