Eating a big breakfast may increase fertility: study

Eating a hearty breakfast may boost fertility in women with a common menstrual problem, a new study suggests.

While prior research has found that the timing of our meals can affect our weight, a new study announced this week shows that it can also affect insulin resistance and hormone levels.

Making breakfast the largest meal of the day could boost the chance of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a menstrual problem that affects up to 10 percent of women of reproductive age, to conceive, researchers said.

Women with PCOS become resistant to insulin, which can result in an increase in male sex hormones known as androgens, impairing their fertility.

A research team from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University studied 60 patients with PCOS between the ages of 25 and 39 over a 12-week period. Each subject was told to eat about 1,800 calories per day, slightly below the recommended daily total for women, but with half having their largest meal of the day at breakfast and the other half at dinner.

Findings, published in the journal Clinical Science, found that there were higher levels of ovulation in the group who ate their largest meal, typically about 980 calories, at breakfast time.

Also among the big breakfast eaters, glucose levels and insulin resistance dropped by eight percent, while levels of androgens decreased by 50 percent. Those who ate a larger dinner showed no change.

"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," said study leader Professor Oren Froy. – AFP/Relaxnews, October 5, 2013.


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