Fertility issues associated with the trendy diet favored by numerous celebrities.
A study has shown that intermittent fasting, a popular diet followed by many celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman and Cameron Diaz, can lead to fertility problems.
Intermittent fasting has gained widespread popularity in recent years as various studies have identified its benefits for public health, but some experts still question the effectiveness of this diet and its potential long-term health effects.
And a new animal study shows that while fasting may be beneficial for weight loss, it may lower your chances of pregnancy.
An article published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences states that following this diet may cause fertility problems.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, intermittent fasting is a diet that involves eating only for a set period of time and switching between fasting and eating according to a regular schedule.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, tested how intermittent fasting affects zebrafish reproduction by measuring sperm and egg production and offspring quality.
According to the University of Oxford, zebrafish are commonly used in research like this because they have all the major organs involved in metabolism.
Twelve males and 12 females were placed on a complete diet, while another group of 18 males and 18 females were intermittently fasted. The fish in the fasting group were allowed to eat normally after 15 days.
30 males and 30 females were randomly paired on days 7, 15, 21, 28 and 35 of the study with fish of the opposite sex from the “general population” to test reproductive performance.
The fish were given no more than five hours to breed, and if they failed, they were given another partner to repeat the process the next day.
On days 7, 15, 21 and 35 of the study, sperm was collected from each of the 30 male fish, and the eggs were evaluated after 2 and 24 hours.
The results showed that female fish in the intermittent starvation group had “significantly lower” reproduction on average at days 7 and 15, resulting in fewer offspring for females overall.
There were 163 offspring in the fully fed group compared to 75 in the fasted group.
Even after the females in the group were fed normally again on an empty stomach, a drop in offspring was still observed, and in the first, increased growth of fins was observed.
Scientists have found that the quality of both eggs and sperm is negatively affected by returning to normal nutritional levels.
Professor Alexei Maklakov, an expert in developmental biology and author of the study, said: “The way organisms respond to food deficiency can affect the quality of eggs and sperm, and it is likely that these effects will continue after the fasting period ends. .”
They speculated that these results may be the result of women’s bodies prioritizing their health and fasting recovery over reproduction.
Starving male fish also showed an increasing decrease in sperm velocity over time and a “significant decrease in sperm quality”.
However, the study authors note that the results “cannot be directly compared to a two-week period in mammals” due to metabolic differences.
Experts hope the study will help people understand the importance of the impact of fasting on fertility, not just weight loss.
Study author Dr. Edward Evemi Kok, an expert in biological sciences, said: “These results highlight the importance of considering not only the impact of fasting on body maintenance, but also on egg and sperm production. More importantly, some negative effects on egg and sperm quality can be seen once the animals return to their normal food intake levels after a time-limited fast.”
The researchers pointed to the need for more research to understand how long it takes for sperm and egg quality to return to normal after fasting.
Meanwhile, a study earlier this year found that intermittent fasting does not help with weight loss, as calorie counting remains the most effective way to get rid of unwanted fat.
Researchers have also previously found that intermittent fasting does not actually lead to greater weight loss in obese people than daily calorie restriction.
Another November 2022 study found that intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast were associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Source: New York Post.
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