Fit for life. Fit for fertility

Fit for Fertility

I am often asked “what can I do to get healthy / improve my fertility?”

While it is easy to get caught up in the latest diet, fad or theory the basics are simple. Four things will decrease mortality from all causes and increase the number of years of healthy living.

They are not smoking, regular exercise, a good diet and keeping weight in the healthy range (BMI<30).

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study published in 2009 showed that people who had all 4 factors had a nearly 80% reduced risk of developing any major chronic disease.

Contrary to common assumptions, genes do not determine your weight or future health. They do tell us about your risk of certain diseases but that risk is not set in stone. Your behaviours will determine whether those genes are turned on or off. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a classic example. With rising weight irregular ovulation becomes more likely and the risk of long term health problems, like diabetes increases.

There is growing evidence that your behavior now can influence disease risk in not only you but your children, and even grandchildren. This is by reprogramming of gene activity (epigenetic Change). For example in 2008 the GEMINAL study (Gene Expression Modulation by Intervention with Nutrition and Lifestyle) in men with early prostate cancer found a program involving a healthy , low fat, plant based diet, regular exercise, stress management and psychological support lead to an increase in activity of 50 genes associated with cancer suppression and decreased activity in nearly 500 genes associated with cancer progression. The same has been found for other cancers such as breast and colon, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

In his recently published book “Disease Proof” Dr Katz looks at this evidence in detail, and more importantly discusses ways to develop your skills and address the barriers to lifestyle change.

So remember how you use your feet, fork and fingers will make a difference! Let’ s make that a positive one.


Reference: Disease Proof. David Katz.