In female mammals, mechanisms have been developed, throughout evolution, to integrate environmental, nutritional and hormonal cues in order to guarantee reproduction in favorable energetic conditions and to inhibit it in case of food scarcity. This metabolic strategy could be an advantage in nutritionally poor environments, but nowadays is affecting women’s health. The unlimited availability of nutrients, in association with reduced energy expenditure, leads to alterations in many metabolic pathways and to impairments in the finely tuned inter-relation between energy metabolism and reproduction, thereby affecting female fertility. Many energetic states could influence female reproductive health being under- and over-weight, obesity and strenuous physical activity are all conditions that alter the profiles of specific hormones, such as insulin and adipokines, thus impairing women fertility. Furthermore, specific classes of nutrients might affect female fertility by acting on particular signaling pathways. Dietary fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins and food-associated components (such as endocrine disruptors) have per se
physiological activities and their unbalanced intake, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, might impair metabolic homeostasis and fertility in premenopausal women. Even though we are far from identifying a “fertility diet”, lifestyle and dietary interventions might represent a promising and invaluable strategy to manage infertility in premenopausal women.
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