Eating oily fish daily `can protect women against infertility`

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

London: Eating a diet of plenty of
oily fish daily can protect women against infertility, says a
new study.

Researchers have carried out the study of 70,000
nurses and found those who ate the most tuna, salmon, mackerel
and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids were nearly 22 per
cent less likely to develop endometriosis which is known to
causes infertility.

However, the study found that those whose diets were
heavily laden with harmful transfats -- chemically altered
vegetable oils -- found in thousands of products from cakes
and biscuits to pies and chips were 48 per cent more at risk
of developing endometriosis, the `Daily Express` reported.

The condition arises when cells normally found in
the womb lining attach themselves to other parts of the pelvic
area, causing inflammation and often leading to infertility.

The study, the largest to have investigated the link
between diet and endometriosis, followed the nurses for 12
years from 1989. It found while the total amount of fat
consumed did not matter, the type did.

Gynaecologist Dr Stacey Missmer, of Harvard Medical
School, Boston, said her findings, not only suggest that diet
may be important in the development of endometriosis but also
provide more evidence for eliminating trans fats, which are
used to bulk up foods and increase their shelf life.

"Millions of women worldwide suffer from
endometriosis. Many have been searching for something they can
do for themselves, or their daughters, to reduce the risk of
developing the disease.

"These findings suggest dietary changes may be
something they can do. The results need to be confirmed by
further research, but this study gives us a strong indication
that we are on the right track in identifying food rich in
omega-3 oils as protective for endometriosis and trans fats as
detrimental," she said.

The study is published in the `Human Reproduction`