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Sunday, September 5, 2010

DAWN.COM | Islamabad | Infertility, impotence and role of diet


Infertility, impotence and role of diet
By Anwer Zahidi
Sunday, 18 Jul, 2010

Female infertility, the inability to conceive, may be due to several medical or physical problems but diet does play an important role. Regular menstruation and a reasonable body weight are both linked to ease of conception. Women who over exercise or follow over-restricted diet which contain neither enough calories nor enough nutrients may cease menstruation and therefore at least temporarily fail to ovulate.

A certain amount of body fat, which helps regulate hormone levels and a BMI or body mass index, between 20 and 25 are important factors in conception.

Anorexic people, who exercise a great deal professionally, such as sportswomen and dancers, are frequently unable to conceive, but if sensible diet is followed and less exercise is, taken periods can be restored to normal. Obesity can also cause infertility, probably by hampering ovulation, so a BMI over 30 should indicate a weight loss diet-plan.

Diet management

A general basic healthy diet, containing all the nutrients for good health will help to facilitate conception. New evidence shows that the polyphenols in tea may increase fertility.

Male fertility can be boosted with an adequate intake of zinc rich foods like wheat germ, all bran pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, corned beef, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, lamb leg and with a diet rich in Vitamin C, essential fatty acids, and selenium.

Male impotence

Diet does not appear to play a large part in preventing or curing male impotence, but there are some dietary tips, which may help the problem, the most important of which is to eat a diet-rich in mineral zinc. Some researches show that zinc deficiency is linked with a lack of male sex hormone, testosterone, and trials have shown a return to potency for men with low zinc levels after supplementation.

For a list of best sources of zinc in diet includes wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, beefsteak, corned beef, cheese and lamb leg etc.

Long-term management of male impotence depends on regular intake of healthy diet comprising of saturated fats and cholesterol and high in antioxidants, fruits, and vegetables, which will help maintain potency, as tests have shown that a cause of impotency is blocked arteries to penis.

A diet-rich in garlic will also help in thinning the blood and maintaining good circulation. Stress is frequently a cause of impotence and in such cases relaxation techniques and the anti-stress diet is recommended.

Tip of the day: Infertility and impotence requires proper treatment

The writer is a consultant physician and nutritionist. He may be contacted at: anwerzahidi@gmail.com

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