Food and Infertility - For women trying to become pregnant naturally (without assistive reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization), the following vitamins and nutrients were linked to positive effects on fertility:
omega-3 fatty acids
healthy diets (such as the Mediterranean diet)
On the other hand, antioxidants, vitamin D, dairy products, soy, caffeine, and alcohol appeared to have little or no effect on fertility in this review. Trans fat and unhealthy diets (those rich in red and processed meats, potatoes, sweets, and sweetened beverages) were found to have negative effects.
Studies of men have found that semen quality improves with healthy diets (as described above), while the opposite has been linked with diets high in saturated or trans fat. Alcohol and caffeine appeared to have little effect, good or bad. Importantly, semen quality is not a perfect predictor of fertility, and most studies did not actually examine the impact of paternal diet on the rate of successful pregnancies.
For couples receiving assisted reproductive technologies, women may be more likely to conceive with folic acid supplements or a diet high in isoflavones (plant-based estrogens with antioxidant activity), while male fertility may be aided by antioxidants.
So what does this mean if youre trying to get pregnant?
Considering the average couple trying to become pregnant naturally, this review seems less of a bombshell than the headlines might suggest. Yes, eating a healthy diet is a good idea for men and women. Extra folic acid, B12, and omega-3 fatty acids might be helpful for women, but healthy diets are already recommended to everyone, and a prenatal vitamin (which includes folic acid and vitamin B12) is already recommended for women trying to get pregnant. Folic acid supplementation has long been known to reduce the risk of developmental neurologic problems in the developing fetus.