Special Issue "Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Beverley Vollenhoven
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Nutrients, entitled “Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility”, welcomes the submissions of manuscripts that either describe original research or review scientific literature. Manuscripts should focus on female nutrition and its effect on fertility.
Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Female BMI and IVF success
  • PCOS and fertility
  • PCOS and pregnancy
  • How much weight should be lost for fertility to be normalized
  • Is there an ideal weight reduction program
  • Obesity and pregnancy
  • Fertility in the underweight female
  • Elite athletes and fertility

Dr. Beverley Vollenhoven
Guest editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • Premenopause
  • Overweight
  • Underweight
  • Fertility
  • IVF
  • PCOS
  • Athletes
  • Weight Loss
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Anorexia
  • BMI
  • Weight management

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Premenopausal Obesity and Breast Cancer Growth Rates in a Rodent Model
Nutrients 2016, 8(4), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8040214 - 11 Apr 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Obese premenopausal women with breast cancer have poorer prognosis for long term survival, in part because their tumors are larger at the time of diagnosis than are found in normal weight women. Whether larger tumor mass is due to obesity-related barriers to detection [...] Read more.
Obese premenopausal women with breast cancer have poorer prognosis for long term survival, in part because their tumors are larger at the time of diagnosis than are found in normal weight women. Whether larger tumor mass is due to obesity-related barriers to detection or to effects on tumor biology is not known. This study used polygenic models for obesity and breast cancer to deconstruct this question with the objective of determining whether cell autonomous mechanisms contribute to the link between obesity and breast cancer burden. Assessment of the growth rates of 259 chemically induced mammary carcinomas from rats sensitive to dietary induced obesity (DS) and of 143 carcinomas from rats resistant (DR) to dietary induced obesity revealed that tumors in DS rats grew 1.8 times faster than in DR rats. This difference may be attributed to alterations in cell cycle machinery that permit more rapid tumor cell accumulation. DS tumors displayed protein expression patterns consistent with reduced G1/S checkpoint inhibition and a higher threshold of factors required for execution of the apoptotic cell death pathway. These mechanistic insights identify regulatory targets for life style modifications or pharmacological interventions designed to disrupt the linkage between obesity and tumor burden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comprehensive Analysis of Body Mass Index Effect on in Vitro Fertilization Outcomes
Nutrients 2016, 8(3), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8030109 - 23 Feb 2016
Cited by 17
Abstract
The effect of a raised body mass index (BMI) on the outcome of assisted reproduction technology (ART) still represents a controversial issue. Even less clear is whether BMI acts with a potential detrimental effect on IVF outcomes via a deleterious effect on innate [...] Read more.
The effect of a raised body mass index (BMI) on the outcome of assisted reproduction technology (ART) still represents a controversial issue. Even less clear is whether BMI acts with a potential detrimental effect on IVF outcomes via a deleterious effect on innate quality of oocytes or on the environmental milieu within the uterus. With the aim to better understand the mechanisms underlying the potential deleterious effect of an increased BMI on IVF outcomes, we have evaluated the effects of female BMI on number and quality of retrieved oocytes, fertilization rate, embryo score and incidences of ongoing pregnancy and live births among couples undergoing IVF in an Italian population. Data from 1602 women who underwent their first IVF cycle were retrospectively analyzed. A significantly reduced percentage of mature oocytes when comparing obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and normal-weight patients (BMI = 18.50–24.99 kg/m2) was found. After adjusting for maternal age and other confounders, odds for ongoing pregnancy rate showed no differences across different BMI categories. However, a significant increased odds ratio (OR) could be observed for miscarriage rate in patients with BMI ≥ 25 (OR = 2.5; p = 0.04). These results should be taken into account in order to define optimal strategies for overweight and obese patients referring to ART procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
Open AccessArticle
High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency among Pregnant Saudi Women
Nutrients 2016, 8(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020077 - 04 Feb 2016
Cited by 24
Abstract
Vitamin D deficiency has emerged as a public health problem worldwide due to its important role in health and disease. The present work is intended to examine prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant Saudi women and related risk factors. A cross-sectional study [...] Read more.
Vitamin D deficiency has emerged as a public health problem worldwide due to its important role in health and disease. The present work is intended to examine prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant Saudi women and related risk factors. A cross-sectional study was carried out at King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 160 pregnant women during the first trimester of pregnancy. Socio-demographic, lifestyle and maternal characteristics were collected and vitamin D intake was assessed using a 24-h dietary recall. Weight and height were measured using standardized methods. Vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L) and insufficiency (25(OH)D = 50–74 nmol/L) were reported in 50% and 43.8% of the study sample, respectively. Median serum 25(OH)D concentration was 49.9 nmol/L. Adequate vitamin D intake (≥600 IU/day) was reported among only 8.1% of pregnant women. Age group, educational level, sun exposure frequency and daytime and daily practice of exercise were significantly associated with vitamin D status. Overall, vitamin D deficiency was common among pregnant Saudi women in Riyadh. Steps should be taken to address the current situation, including increased sunlight exposure, consumption of fatty fish, and vitamin D supplements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Food Rations and Supplements on Micronutrient Status by Trimester of Pregnancy: Cross-Sectional Studies in the Maela Refugee Camp in Thailand
Nutrients 2016, 8(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020066 - 26 Jan 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Micronutrient fortified flour (MFF), supplementary food rations and micronutrient (MN) supplements may prevent deficiencies among pregnant women. Objectives of cross-sectional surveys in 2004 (n = 533) and 2006 (n = 515) were to assess the impact of new food rations (flour, [...] Read more.
Micronutrient fortified flour (MFF), supplementary food rations and micronutrient (MN) supplements may prevent deficiencies among pregnant women. Objectives of cross-sectional surveys in 2004 (n = 533) and 2006 (n = 515) were to assess the impact of new food rations (flour, oil) and supplements on MN status by trimester of pregnancy in the Maela refugee camp. Hemoglobin, iron status, zinc, retinol, β-carotene and tryptophan decreased, while α-/γ-tocopherol and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) increased from first to third trimester. In 2006, mean zinc and α-tocopherol for each trimester was significantly higher than in 2004. The weeks of supplemented thiamine and folic acid were positively correlated with thiamine diphosphate (TDP) and 5-MTHF, but not for ferrous sulfate as iron deficiency was observed in 38.5% of third-trimester women. Frequent consumption of fish paste and owning a garden or animal were associated with significantly higher iron status, retinol, β-carotene, and 5-MTHF. In conclusion, MFF and supplementary oil were most likely to explain improved zinc and α-tocopherol status, while thiamine and folate supplements ensured high TDP and 5-MTHF in late pregnancy. MN supplements, MN-rich staple food, small gardens, and programs to improve iron compliance are promising strategies to prevent MN deficiencies during pregnancy in vulnerable populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
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Open AccessCommunication
Research Priorities for Fertility and Conception Research as Identified by Multidisciplinary Health Care Practitioners and Researchers
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010035 - 13 Jan 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Robinson Research Institute of the University of Adelaide convened a multidisciplinary group of n = 33 clinicians, researchers and representatives of government organisations on the 2 October 2014 for a workshop entitled “Promoting fertility and healthy conception. How do we generate [...] Read more.
The Robinson Research Institute of the University of Adelaide convened a multidisciplinary group of n = 33 clinicians, researchers and representatives of government organisations on the 2 October 2014 for a workshop entitled “Promoting fertility and healthy conception. How do we generate greater reproductive health awareness?” The key aim of the workshop was to assess the body of knowledge that informs clinical practice and government policy, and to identify questions and additional information needed by health practitioners and government representatives working in the field of reproductive health and to frame future research and policy. The workshop identified topics that fell mostly into three categories: lifestyle-related, societal and biological factors. The lifestyle topics included nutrition and diet, exercise, obesity, shift work and other factors deemed to be modifiable at the level of the individual. The societal topics included discussions of matters that are structural, and resistant to change by individuals, including specific ethical issues, social disadvantage, government and educational policies. The biological factors are intrinsic physical states of the individual, and included many factors where there is a dense body of scientific knowledge which may not be readily accessible in less academic language. This workshop thus provided an opportunity to identify further actions that could be undertaken to meet the needs of diverse organisations and groups of professionals with an interest in human fertility. Since so many factors in our social and biological environment can impact fertility and preconception health, it is imperative to involve many disciplines or levels of government or societal organisations that have not traditionally been involved in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
Open AccessArticle
Maternal Nutrition and Glycaemic Index during Pregnancy Impacts on Offspring Adiposity at 6 Months of Age—Analysis from the ROLO Randomised Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010007 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 18
Abstract
Childhood obesity is associated with increased risk of adult obesity and metabolic disease. Diet and lifestyle in pregnancy influence fetal programming; however the influence of specific dietary components, including low glycaemic index (GI), remains complex. We examined the effect of a maternal low [...] Read more.
Childhood obesity is associated with increased risk of adult obesity and metabolic disease. Diet and lifestyle in pregnancy influence fetal programming; however the influence of specific dietary components, including low glycaemic index (GI), remains complex. We examined the effect of a maternal low GI dietary intervention on offspring adiposity at 6 months and explored the association between diet and lifestyle factors in pregnancy and infant body composition at 6 months. 280 6-month old infant and mother pairs from the control (n = 142) and intervention group (n = 138), who received low GI dietary advice in pregnancy, in the ROLO study were analysed. Questionnaires (food diaries and lifestyle) were completed during pregnancy, followed by maternal lifestyle and infant feeding questionnaires at 6 months postpartum. Maternal anthropometry was measured throughout pregnancy and at 6 months post-delivery, along with infant anthropometry. No difference was found in 6 months infant adiposity between control and intervention groups. Maternal trimester three GI, trimester two saturated fats and trimester one and three sodium intake were positively associated with offspring adiposity, while trimester two and three vitamin C intake was negatively associated. In conclusion associations were observed between maternal dietary intake and GI during pregnancy and offspring adiposity at 6 months of age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
Open AccessCommunication
Altered Preconception Fatty Acid Intake Is Associated with Improved Pregnancy Rates in Overweight and Obese Women Undertaking in Vitro Fertilisation
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010010 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 10
Abstract
Maternal preconception diet is proposed to affect fertility. Prior research assessing the effect of altering the fatty acid profile on female fertility is conflicting. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of preconception maternal diet, specifically fatty acid profile, on [...] Read more.
Maternal preconception diet is proposed to affect fertility. Prior research assessing the effect of altering the fatty acid profile on female fertility is conflicting. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of preconception maternal diet, specifically fatty acid profile, on pregnancies and live births following in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Forty-six overweight and obese women undergoing IVF were randomised to a diet and physical activity intervention (intervention) or standard care (control). Outcome measures included pregnancy, live birth and pre-study dietary intake from food frequency questionnaire. Twenty pregnancies (n = 12/18 vs. n = 8/20, p = 0.12) and 12 live births (n = 7/18 vs. n = 5/20, p = 0.48) occurred following the intervention with no differences between the treatment groups. On analysis adjusted for BMI and smoking status, women who became pregnant had higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake (p = 0.03), specifically omega-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) (p = 0.045) with a trend for an elevated intake of omega-3 PUFA (p = 0.06). There were no dietary differences for women who did or did not have a live birth. Maternal preconception PUFA, and specifically omega-6 and LA intake, are associated with improved pregnancy rates in overweight and obese women undergoing IVF. This has implications for optimising fertility through preconception nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
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Open AccessArticle
High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Infertile Women Referring for Assisted Reproduction
Nutrients 2015, 7(12), 9972-9984; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7125516 - 02 Dec 2015
Cited by 15
Abstract
A comprehensive analysis of the vitamin D status of infertile women is the first step in understanding hypovitaminosis impact on reproductive potential. We sought to determine vitamin D profiles of women attending an infertility center and to investigate non-dietary determinants of vitamin D [...] Read more.
A comprehensive analysis of the vitamin D status of infertile women is the first step in understanding hypovitaminosis impact on reproductive potential. We sought to determine vitamin D profiles of women attending an infertility center and to investigate non-dietary determinants of vitamin D status in this population. In this cross-sectional analysis, a cohort of 1072 women (mean age ± standard deviation 36.3 ± 4.4 years) attending an academic infertility center was used to examine serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in relation to demographic characteristics, seasons and general health risk factors. Both unadjusted and adjusted levels of serum 25(OH)D were examined. Median 25(OH)D concentration was below 30 ng/mL for 89% of the entire year. Over the whole year, 6.5% of patients had 25(OH)D levels ≤10 ng/mL, 40.1% ≤20 ng/mL, and 77.4% ≤30 ng/mL. Global solar radiation was weakly correlated with 25(OH)D levels. At multivariable analysis, 25(OH)D levels were inversely associated with BMI; conversely, 25(OH)D levels were positively associated with height and endometriosis history. Serum 25(OH)D levels are highly deficient in women seeking medical help for couple’s infertility. Levels are significantly associated with body composition, seasonal modifications and causes of infertility. Importantly, this deficiency status may last during pregnancy with more severe consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
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Open AccessArticle
Alcohol and Difficulty Conceiving in the SUN Cohort: A Nested Case-Control Study
Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6167-6178; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7085278 - 27 Jul 2015
Cited by 5
Abstract
The role of alcohol on fertility remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the association between alcohol and specific alcoholic beverages consumption and the risk of difficulty getting pregnant. We used a case-control study nested within the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort, a [...] Read more.
The role of alcohol on fertility remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the association between alcohol and specific alcoholic beverages consumption and the risk of difficulty getting pregnant. We used a case-control study nested within the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort, a prospective, dynamic and multipurpose cohort of 21,705 Spanish university graduates, followed biennially with mailed questionnaires. We identified 686 case-control pairs, matched for age and time in the cohort. Cases were women reporting difficulty getting pregnant. Controls did not consult due to difficulty conceiving and had at least one child during follow-up. After adjustment for potential confounders, we found no association between self-reported difficulty getting pregnant and the number of alcoholic beverages consumed per week, (Odds Ratio [OR] > 5 drinks/week vs. none = 1.04, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 0.72–1.51). No association between types of alcoholic beverage and difficulty conceiving (OR > 5 drinks of wine/week vs. none = 1.16, 95% CI = 0.72–1.88; OR > 5 drinks of beer/week vs. none = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.82–1.37; OR > 5 drinks of spirits/week vs. none = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.84–1.64) was observed. In conclusion, we found no association between alcohol intake and risk of consulting a physician due to difficulty conceiving. More studies are needed to clearly elucidate the effects of alcohol intake on women’s fertility. In the meantime, recommendations about alcohol intake to couples trying to conceive have to be given cautiously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Deep Correlation between Energy Metabolism and Reproduction: A View on the Effects of Nutrition for Women Fertility
Nutrients 2016, 8(2), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020087 - 11 Feb 2016
Cited by 35
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
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Open AccessReview
Advanced Glycation End Products: Link between Diet and Ovulatory Dysfunction in PCOS?
Nutrients 2015, 7(12), 10129-10144; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7125524 - 04 Dec 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
PCOS is the most common cause of anovulation in reproductive-aged women with 70% experiencing ovulatory problems. Advanced glycation end products are highly reactive molecules that are formed by non-enzymatic reactions of sugars with proteins, nucleic acids and lipids. AGEs are also present in [...] Read more.
PCOS is the most common cause of anovulation in reproductive-aged women with 70% experiencing ovulatory problems. Advanced glycation end products are highly reactive molecules that are formed by non-enzymatic reactions of sugars with proteins, nucleic acids and lipids. AGEs are also present in a variety of diet where substantial increase in AGEs can result due to thermal processing and modifications of food. Elevation in bodily AGEs, produced endogenously or absorbed exogenously from high-AGE diets, is further exaggerated in women with PCOS and is associated with ovulatory dysfunction. Additionally, increased expression of AGEs as pro-inflammatory receptors in the ovarian tissue has been observed in women with PCOS. In this review, we summarize the role of dietary AGEs as mediators of metabolic and reproductive alterations in PCOS. Once a mechanistic understanding of the relationship between AGEs and anovulation is established, there is a promise that such knowledge will contribute to the subsequent development of targeted pharmacological therapies that will treat anovulation and improve ovarian health in women with PCOS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Premenopausal Nutrition and Fertility)
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