The preconception Mediterranean dietary pattern in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment increases the chance of pregnancy
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Objective: To investigate associations between preconception dietary patterns and IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcomes validated by biomarkers of the homocysteine pathway. Design: Observational prospective study. Setting: A tertiary referral fertility clinic at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Patient(s): One hundred sixty-one couples undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment. Intervention(s): No interventions other than the Dutch governmental recommendation of folic acid. Main Outcome Measure(s): Dietary patterns, blood and follicular fluid concentrations of folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, homocysteine, and fertilization rate, embryo quality, and pregnancy. Result(s): In women, two dietary patterns were identified. The "health conscious-low processed" dietary pattern (variation explained 12.1%) was characterized by high intakes of fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains and low intakes of snacks, meats, and mayonnaise, and positively correlated with red blood cell folate (β = 0.07). The "Mediterranean" dietary pattern (variation explained 9.1%), that is, high intakes of vegetable oils, vegetables, fish, and legumes and low intakes of snacks, was positively correlated with red blood cell folate (β = 0.13), and vitamin B6 in blood (β = 0.09) and follicular fluid (β = 0.18). High adherence by the couple to the "Mediterranean" diet increased the probability of pregnancy, odds ratio 1.4 (95% confidence interval 1.0-1.9). Conclusion(s): A preconception "Mediterranean" diet by couples undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment contributes to the success of achieving pregnancy. © 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine.