Pilot study associates fiber intake with improved fertility

Pilot study associates fiber intake with improved fertility

Coping with infertility can be very costly, stressful and emotional. Now for perhaps the first time, researchers are learning that the probiotics in a woman’s gut microbiome may be associated with her ability to conceive.  

In a pilot study, Japanese researchers analyzed the gut microbiomes of 18 fertile and 18 infertile women. They found that the infertile women had different gut microbiome compositions compared with fertile women, indicating the gut microbiome may play a role in fertility. 

To then examine the impact of prebiotic fiber on fertility, the researchers had 12 of the infertile women consume 10 grams of prebiotic PHGG (Sunfiber) while attempting to conceive through in vitro fertilization. Sunfiber is a powerful prebiotic known to nourish Bifidobacterium. 

The results of their preliminary study were published by the Journal of Chemical Biochemistry Nutrition. Comparing the gut microbiota of women with successful pregnancies and those with unsuccessful IVF treatments, pregnant women had a higher percentage of Bifidobacterium along with a lower abundance of Paraprevotella and Blautia, before and after PHGG consumption. 

While these early results are very encouraging, additional work is needed to confirm the findings.