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April 21, 2019  
UTERINE NEWS: Feature Story

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  • Link Between Obesity and Infertility Found

    Link Between Obesity and Infertility Found


    October 01, 2007

    By: Danae Roumis for Uterus1

    Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have pinned down the relationship between obesity and infertility, attributing the link to the inability of fatty eggs in the ovaries to develop into healthy embryos.
    Take Action
  • Obesity increases your risk for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and premature death.
  • Reverse its effects by maintaining a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts and low-fat dairy products. Avoid foots with high fat content (especially trans fats), extra sugars, and cholesterol.
  • Exercise regularly. Even 30 minutes, three to four days per week is enough to help your body restore a healthy metabolism. Avoid fad diets or weight-loss products.
  • If you are overweight and considering having children, speak to your physician or nutritionist about your options for a healthy pregnancy.


  • Cadence Minge, PhD student at the University of Adelaide, authored the study describing the behavior of a certain protein called Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) in the ovulation process. The protein helps determine the way in which ovaries react to fats, and assists in helping to nourish eggs and regulate healthy embryo development. In obese women, a diet high in fat content damages a woman’s stored eggs, even before fertilization. The function of the PPAR-gamma protein is therefore obstructed, leading to an unsuccessful pregnancy.

    This research study fed its female mice subjects a diet rich in fats to reproduce the effects of obesity. In some of the mice, Minge targeted the PPAR-gamma protein with the drug rosiglitazone, which is usually prescribed for diabetes. Using the drug to switch the protein on, the researchers were able to completely reverse the effects of obesity in the eggs. On the other hand, the ‘obese’ mice did not produce eggs that developed into healthy embryos.

    Minge’s research shows the promise of the protein activation in helping to reverse the effects of obesity on infertility. However, she strongly warns that the anti-diabetic drug, marketed as Avandia, has harmful side effects, and that more research would help determine other ways of activating the protein. Still, the reversal of the symptoms may only be as complicated as the reversal of the cause. Minge emphasized that the most effective way to restore fertility was to lose weight. A loss of even 10 to 20 pounds may be enough to restore the body’s ability to revive healthy ovulation. This is a safer and more natural way to go about remedying infertility, in contrast to seeking medical intervention from the outset. The study’s conclusions reaffirm the importance of a healthy, balanced diet and a schedule of regular exercise.

    In the next phase of study, researchers hope to discover how cells control egg quality.

    Last updated: 01-Oct-07

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