Women who struggle to get pregnant should try tucking into a hearty breakfast, new research suggests.The study revealed that eating a big meal in the morning, rather than evening, can help women with polycystic ovary syndrome to conceive. Having the bulk of the day’s calorie intake in the morning helps to regulate insulin, testosterone and other hormones that can have an adverse of a women’s chances of getting pregnant.
The findings revealed that glucose levels and insulin resistance decreased by eight per cent in those eating their biggest meal in the morning, while the group who ate their biggest meal at dinner time showed no changes.
Another finding showed that among the ‘breakfast’ group, levels of the male hormone testosterone dropped by nearly half, while in the ‘dinner’ group the level stayed the same.
In addition, there was a much higher rate of ovulation in woman within the ‘breakfast’ group compared to the ‘dinner’ group, showing that eating a hearty breakfast leads to an increase in the level of fertility among woman with polycystic ovary syndrome. Polycystic ovary syndrome affects approximately six to 10 per cent of women of reproductive age, disrupting their reproductive abilities.
It creates a resistance to insulin, leading to an increase in male sex hormones (androgens), and can also cause menstrual irregularities, hair loss on the scalp, increased body hair, acne, fertility problems and diabetes. Experiments were carried out at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem on 60 women over 12 weeks.
- Insulin resistance and glucose levels fall by 8% in women with polycystic ovary syndrome when they eat their main meal in the morning
- Their testosterone levels also fall by 50%
The women, aged between 25 and 39, were thin with a body mass index of less than 23 and suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome.
The women were divided into two groups and were each allowed to consume about 1,800 calories a day. The difference between the groups was the timing of their largest meal – one group consumed their largest meal, approximately 980 calories, at breakfast, while the other ate their biggest meal of the day in the evening.
Researchers wanted to examine whether the timing of calorie intake affected insulin resistance and the increase in androgens among woman suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. Study leader Professor Oren Froy said: ‘The research clearly demonstrates that indeed the amount of calories we consume daily is very important, but the timing as to when we consume them is even more important.’