Diet drinks may reduce a woman’s chance of getting pregnant during IVF, a research suggests.
Women trying for a baby through IVF are being advised to avoid refined sugar and artificial sweeteners after a scientific study suggested that they could harm eggs and reduce fertility.
Researchers from the Federal University of Sao Paulo warned that some of the additives in processed food and drink could make it harder to conceive, after one of the first studies of its kind. The effect appears to be even stronger for diet drinks, filled with sweeteners, than for those containing sugar.
The Telegraph reports the study interviewed 524 women, who were undergoing IVF treatment, to find out about the food and drink they consumed. The results showed a connection between low-calorie sweeteners, such as saccharin and sucralose, and reduced fertility rates, while the use of synthetic sugar in soft drinks and coffee was linked with poorer quality of eggs and embryos.
While some experts have questioned the study’s lack of information on bodyweight as well as the use of data from IVF patients, Professor Adam Balen, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, says the findings should be taken seriously.
“This is a very interesting study that suggests the false promise of artificial sweeteners that are found in soft drinks and added to drinks, such as coffee, may have a significant effect on the quality and fertility of woman’s eggs and this may further impact on the chances of conception,” Professor Balen said.
“These findings are highly significant to our population.
“There should be more scrutiny of food additives and better information available to the public and, in particular, those wishing to conceive.”
This study comes a few months after researchers at the University of Syndey found that diet drinks can have a negative impact on the body’s metabolism.