Nutritional Factors

Publications under ‘Nutritional Factors’ examine the association of diet and various dietary components with fertility and reproductive outcomes. 

Cueto HT, Riis AH, Hatch EE, Wise LA, Rothman KJ, Mikkelsen EM. Predictors of preconceptional folic acid or multivitamin supplement use: a cross-sectional study of Danish pregnancy planners. Clin Epidemiol 2012; 4: 259-65.

Among Danish women planning pregnancy, over one third were not taking any dietary supplement (such as folic acid or a multivitamin).

Hatch EE, Wise LA, Mikkelsen EM, Christensen T, Riis AH, Sørensen HT, Rothman KJ. Caffeinated beverage and soda consumption and time to pregnancy. Epidemiology 2012; 23(3): 393-401.

Among Danish women planning pregnancy, caffeine intake and coffee intake were not associated with fecundability. Soda consumption was associated with slightly reduced fecundability. Tea drinking was associated with slightly increased fecundability.

Cueto HT, Riis AH, Hatch EE, Wise LA, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT, Mikkelsen EM. Folic acid supplement use and menstrual cycle characteristics: a cross-sectional study of Danish pregnancy planners. Ann Epidemiol 2015; 25(10): 723-9.e1.

Among Danish pregnancy planners, women who took a folic acid supplement were less likely to have a short menstrual cycle (<27 days). Other menstrual cycle characteristics (cycle regularity, duration and intensity of menstrual bleeding) were not associated with folic acid supplementation.

Cueto HT, Riis AH, Hatch EE, Wise LA, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT, Mikkelsen EM. Folic acid supplementation and fecundability: a Danish prospective cohort study. Eur J Clin Nutr 2016; 70(1): 66-71.

Folic acid supplementation (alone or as part of a multivitamin) was associated with increased fecundability in Danish pregnancy planners. This association appeared to be stronger among women with irregular menstrual cycles and among women with either short (<27 days) or long (≥30 days) menstrual cycles.

Wise LA, Wesselink AK, Mikkelsen EM, Cueto H, Hahn KA, Rothman KJ, Tucker KL, Sørensen HT, Hatch EE. Dairy intake and fecundability in two preconception cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2016; 105(1): 100-110.

Low- or high-fat dairy intake was not consistently associated with fecundability in North American or Danish women. Our findings do not support the hypotheses that higher consumption of high-fat dairy improves fertility or that higher consumption of lactose or low-fat dairy harms fertility.

Wise LA, Wesselink AK, Tucker KL, Saklani S, Mikkelsen EM, Cueto H, Riis AH, Trolle E, McKinnon CJ, Hahn KA, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT, Hatch EE. Dietary fat intake and fecundability in 2 preconception cohort studies. Am J Epidemiol 2018; 187(1): 60-74.

We studied the relationships between several types of dietary fat and fecundability in North American and Danish women. Intakes of total fat and saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-6 fatty acids were not associated with fecundability. High intake of trans fatty acids and low intake of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with reduced fecundability in North American women.

Hatch EE, Wesselink AK, Hahn KA, Michiel JJ, Mikkelsen EM, Sørensen HT, Rothman KJ, Wise LA. Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and fecundability in a North American preconception cohort. Epidemiology 2018; 29(3): 369-378.

Higher intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly sodas and energy drinks, was associated with lower fecundability in men and women. Intake of diet soda and fruit juice was not associated with fecundability.

Hahn KA, Wesselink AK, Wise LA, Mikkelsen EM, Cueto HT, Tucker KL, Vinceti M, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT, Hatch EE. Iron consumption is not consistently associated with fecundability among North American and Danish pregnancy planners. J Nutr 2019; 149(9): 1585-1595.

Overall, dietary intake of iron was not consistently associated with fecundability in North American and Danish pregnancy planners. However, dietary iron intake was associated with higher fecundability among women with risk factors for iron deficiency (heavy menstrual bleeding and short menstrual cycles). Taking an iron supplement (alone or through a multivitamin) was associated with slightly higher fecundability among North American, but not Danish, pregnancy planners.

Wesselink AK, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Willis SK, Orta OR, Wise LA. Pesticide residue intake from fruits and vegetables and fecundability in a North American preconception cohort study. Environ Int 2020; 139:105693.

Among women, intake of fruits and vegetables with high pesticide scores was not associated with fecundability.

Wesselink AK, Hatch EE, Mikkelsen EM, Trolle E, Willis SK, McCann SE, Valsta L, Lundqvist A, Tucker KL, Rothman KJ, Wise LA. Dietary phytoestrogen intakes of adult women are not strongly related to fecundability in 2 preconception cohort studies. J Nutr 2020; 150(5): 1240-1251.

Phytoestrogens are hormonally-active compounds found in foods such as soy, cruciferous vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Phytoestrogen intake was not strongly associated with fecundability among women planning pregnancy in Denmark and North America.

Willis SK, Wise LA, Wesselink AK, Rothman KJ, Mikkelsen EM, Tucker KL, Trolle E, Hatch EE. Glycemic load, dietary fiber, and added sugar and fecundability in 2 preconception cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr 2020; 112(1): 27-38.

Glycemic load measures the impact of eating a food on blood sugar. Among women attempting to conceive in Denmark and North America, diets high in glycemic load, carbohydrate-to-fiber ratio, and added sugar were associated with slightly lower fecundability.

Wise LA, Willis SK, Mikkelsen EM, Wesselink AK, Sørensen HT, Rothman KJ, Tucker KL, Trolle E, Vinceti M, Hatch EE. The association between seafood intake and fecundability: Analysis from two prospective studies. Nutrients 2020; 12(8): 2276.

Among North American and Danish women planning pregnancy, seafood intake was not associated with fecundability. However, greater intake of fried shellfish was associated with lower fecundability among North American women.