Anti-Inflammatory Diets in Fertility: An Evidence Review

Simon Alesi, Anthony Villani, Evangeline Mantzioris, Wubet Worku Takele, Stephanie Cowan, Lisa J. Moran, Aya Mousa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Infertility is a global health concern affecting 48 million couples and 186 million individuals worldwide. Infertility creates a significant economic and social burden for couples who wish to conceive and has been associated with suboptimal lifestyle factors, including poor diet and physical inactivity. Modifying preconception nutrition to better adhere with Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs) is a non-invasive and potentially effective means for improving fertility outcomes. While several dietary patterns have been associated with fertility outcomes, the mechanistic links between diet and infertility remain unclear. A key mechanism outlined in the literature relates to the adverse effects of inflammation on fertility, potentially contributing to irregular menstrual cyclicity, implantation failure, and other negative reproductive sequelae. Therefore, dietary interventions which act to reduce inflammation may improve fertility outcomes. This review consistently shows that adherence to anti-inflammatory diets such as the Mediterranean diet (specifically, increased intake of monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, flavonoids, and reduced intake of red and processed meat) improves fertility, assisted reproductive technology (ART) success, and sperm quality in men. Therefore, integration of anti-inflammatory dietary patterns as low-risk adjunctive fertility treatments may improve fertility partially or fully and reduce the need for prolonged or intensive pharmacological or surgical interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3914
Number of pages21
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • anti-inflammatory diet
  • fertility
  • infertility
  • lifestyle
  • Mediterranean diet
  • nutrition
  • preconception
  • proinflammatory
  • reproductive health and diseases
  • review
  • supplementation

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