Omega-3 intake favourably affects fertility outcomes in adults
Fish oil supplementation as well as consumption of foods rich in omega-3 may increase women’s chances of conception by lowering the risk of pregnancy loss, a study has found. On the other hand, in men, omega-3 intake may improve semen quality.
The analysis included 229 couples who contributed to a total of 410 assisted reproductive technology cycles. All participants completed a validated 131-item food frequency questionnaire. In addition, 343 men provided 896 semen samples in analyses for semen quality measures.
Researchers evaluated the effect of women’s and men’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-3 rich–foods on implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth probabilities—the primary study outcomes. They also assessed total and clinical pregnancy loss and conventional semen parameters, for males only, as secondary outcomes.
Results revealed a positive association between docosahexaenoic acid + eicosapentaenoic acid intake and live birth among women. The multivariable-adjusted probabilities of live birth for women in the bottom and top quartiles of eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid intake were 0.36 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.26–0.48) and 0.54 (95 percent CI, 0.42–0.66; ptrend=0.02), respectively.
Eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid intake showed a protective association with the risk of pregnancy loss, with the risk lowered by 47 percent among women in the lowest quartile of eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid intake and by 95 percent among women in the highest quartile (ptrend=0.01).
Meanwhile, among men, intake of total omega-3 fatty acids had a positive effect on sperm count, concentration, and motility, but no link to any assisted reproductive technology outcomes.
Similar results were obtained when evaluating the intake of primary food sources of omega-3 fatty acids.