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A new study suggests diets higher in seafood may increase fertility.

Arielle Weg
May 25, 2018

We know that eating fish is beneficial to your health. Previous research has linked eating more seafood to better heart health, proper brain development, better mood, increased immunity—and one study even found a that kids who eat more fish got better grades. But a new study has found that eating seafood may make it easier to have those smart kids in the first place.

The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that couples who consume more fish on a weekly basis have a higher chance of getting pregnant. Researchers are linking the benefit to "long chain omega-3 fatty acids" specifically from marine sources, and find they are correlated with higher markers of fertility in both men and women.

According to The New York Times, researchers followed 501 couples planning pregnancy for up to a year. Couples kept a journal of their individual seafood intake and their sexual intercourse frequency. Home pregnancy tests were administered regularly. After a year, 92 percent of couples who ate fish at least twice a week had become pregnant, while only 79 percent of couples who ate less seafood had gotten pregnant.

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The study concluded that men who ate at least two servings of fish per week were able to conceive 47 percent quicker, while women were 60 percent quicker to conceive. When both partners consumed two servings of fish per week there was a 61 percent higher rate of pregnancy.

“Seafood may help in semen quality, ovulation and other markers,” Audrey J. Gaskins, a research associate at Harvard and lead author told the Times. “Or maybe these couples are the ones spending more time together. But if it’s fish that’s bringing them together, that’s still causal, although through a behavioral pathway, not a biological one.”

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In addition to fertility, the couples where both partners consumed at least two servings of fish per week had a 22 percent higher intercourse frequency. The study still associated eating fish with pregnancy after controlling for frequency of intercourse.