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Big Breakfasts Boost Female Fertility, Study

Update Date: Oct 01, 2013 10:49 AM EDT
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Eating a big breakfast may help boost fertility in women, a new study suggests.

New research reveals that eating more calories in the morning can have a positive impact on women with reproductive difficulties.

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem looked at whether meal times have an impact on the health of women with menstrual irregularities due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age and affects approximately 6 percent to 10 percent of women. The disorder creates resistance to insulin, leading to an increase in male sex hormones and can also cause menstrual irregularities, excess body hair, hair loss on the scalp, acne, fertility problems and diabetes.

The study involved 60 women over a 12-week period. The women were ages 25 to 39, thin and suffered from PCOS.

Researchers divided the women into two groups based on the timing of their largest meal. All women were allowed to consume about 1,800 calories a day. One group ate their largest meal, approximately 980 calories, at breakfast, while the other at dinner.

Researchers said they wanted to look at whether the schedule of calorie intake affects insulin resistance and the increase in androgens among woman suffering from PCOS.

The study revealed that women who consumed a big breakfast showed improved results. The study found that glucose levels and insulin resistance decreased by 8 percent in the breakfast group, while those in the dinner group showed no changes.

Researchers also found that testosterone levels decreased by nearly 50 percent and that there was a significantly higher rate of ovulation in women in the breakfast group compared to those in the dinner group.

The research clearly demonstrates that indeed the amount of calories we consume daily is very important, but the timing as to when we consume them is even more important," researcher Professor Oren Froy, director of the Nutrigenomics and Functional Foods Research Center at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University, said in a news release.

The findings are published in the journal Clinical Science

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