Healthy heart diet decreases likelihood of miscarriage by up to 15%

by Ella

A recent study has uncovered a promising link between a diet recommended for heart health by the American Heart Association (AHA) and a decreased likelihood of miscarriage among women undergoing infertility treatments. This discovery offers hope to the millions of individuals facing infertility challenges worldwide.

The healthy heart diet, characterized by an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean vegetable or animal protein (preferably fish), has long been recognized for its cardiovascular benefits. However, this latest research suggests that it may yield additional advantages, particularly for women pursuing fertility treatment.


Infertility affects approximately 48.5 million couples globally, with lifestyle factors significantly impacting both male and female fertility. Recent studies have underscored the pivotal role of diet in addressing infertility concerns. Researchers from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Spain conducted a comprehensive investigation, examining the effects of eight common diets originally designed to improve heart health and manage chronic conditions on the outcomes of infertility treatments.


The study involved 612 women aged 18 to 45, who collectively completed 1,572 infertility treatment cycles. This included 302 participants who underwent 804 intrauterine insemination cycles and 450 participants who completed 768 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. Prior to treatment, participants provided information through questionnaires on lifestyle factors, medical history, physical activity, and reproductive health. Their adherence to eight distinct dietary patterns was also assessed.


The dietary patterns under scrutiny included the Trichopoulou Mediterranean diet (TMD), alternate Mediterranean diet (AMD), Panagiotakos Mediterranean diet (PMD), Healthy Eating Index (HEI), Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), American Heart Association (AHA) 2020 dietary goals index, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) index, and plant-based diet (PBD), which promotes the consumption of plant-based foods while minimizing animal products. Despite slight differences, these diets share common elements, advocating the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fish, and olive oil or monounsaturated fats, while discouraging red meat intake.


While the study did not reveal a significant association between dietary patterns and the likelihood of a live birth following IVF or intrauterine insemination, it did uncover a noteworthy finding. Women who adhered most closely to the AHA dietary pattern before pregnancy exhibited a 13% to 15% reduced risk of miscarriage compared to those who did not follow this diet. The AHA diet places a high emphasis on fish, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, and folic acid.

Albert Salas-Huetos, the lead author of the study, highlighted the diversity of the AHA diet, stating, “It is a varied diet, with no restrictions on any food group. The study has confirmed that regularly ingesting these nutrients and foods is associated with a lower risk of suffering a miscarriage during assisted reproductive cycles, so they are essential for human reproduction.”

While the AHA diet demonstrated the strongest effect, similar patterns were observed in other dietary patterns, excluding the plant-based diet.

“In this case, the difference between the heart-healthy diet recommended by the AHA and the vegetarian diet is the absence of foods such as fish and meat, foods that contain vitamin B12 or omega-3 [fatty acids],” explained Salas-Huetos.

The researchers acknowledge the limitations of their single-center study, including its restricted generalizability and the absence of dietary assessments over the study duration. Furthermore, the study’s sample group does not allow for extrapolation to couples attempting pregnancy without medical assistance. Nevertheless, this study provides valuable insights that may guide future research on the impact of nutrition on fertility.



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023