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Bad Fats in Cookies, Cakes
and Pies Linked To Infertility

Women who eat a diet high in biscuits, cakes and pies that contain trans fats are more likely to develop a common womb condition that can cause infertility, researchers have said.

A study found that women with the highest consumption of trans fats were 48 per cent more likely to develop endometriosis than those with the lowest consumption.

However eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, seemed to protect against the disease as these women had a 22 per cent reduced risk of the condition.

Endometriosis affects around one in ten women and is when the lining of the womb grows in the wrong places. It can cause no symptoms at all or severe pain and in some cases infertility.

The study involving over 70,000 women in America, is the largest to look at the link between diet and endometriosis.

Previous research found that eating four grams of trans fat a day can lead to infertility in women.

In the most recent study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, it was thought that trans fat increase inflammation in the body encouraging rogue cells from the womb lining to grow while omega-3 fatty acids constricted their growth.

Lead author Dr. Stacey Missmer, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, America, said: "This study gives us a strong indication that we’re on the right track in identifying food rich in Omega-3 oils as protective for endometriosis and trans fats as detrimental."

Women in the study filled out food questionnaires every four years between 1989 and 2001 and traced the numbers who went on to develop endometriosis.

The results showed that while total fat in the diet was not important, the kind of fat women were consuming was linked to the risk of endometriosis.

Trans fats are liquid oils that have been turned into solids by a process called hydrogenation and are in thousands of pre-prepared foods to give texture and a long shelf life.

The fat has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

March 30, 2010

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