Fizzy drinks have been found to have this unexpected effect on fertility
A popular type of soft drink has been shown to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy for women undergoing IVF treatment.
New research, presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine found that women who consumed artificial sweeteners, most commonly found in diet drinks, produced poorer eggs and embryos than those who didn’t.
During the study, 524 women attempting to conceive through IVF were monitored and asked about their dietary habits. They specified whether they consumed diet drinks or hot beverages with artificial sweeteners.
According to The Daily Mail, the information was evaluated after two years and the researchers examined 5,548 egg cells extracted from the women. They also examined the effect of the egg after it was impregnated with sperm. They found beyond doubt, that women who consumed soft drinks at all were likely to produce eggs with defects. These eggs were less likely to be successfully implanted in the womb.
Author of the study, Gabriela Halpern noted that the findings prove that artificial sweeteners are full of false promises and can been just as damaging as sugar.
“The general population believes that artificial sweeteners are healthier than regular sugar, and is not aware of the dangers hidden behind the promise of reduced calorie food and beverages.”
“Patients should be advised about the adverse effect of sugar and mainly artificial sweeteners on the success of assisted reproduction,” said Halpern.
According again to The Daily Mail, Professor Adam Balen, Chair of the British Fertility Society said the study was “very interesting” and suggests that the “false promise” of artificial sweeteners have a significant effect on the quality and fertility potential of a woman's eggs.
He called for more scrutiny of sweetener products.
While some criticise the study, saying that the results show correlation rather than causation, all agree that cutting the sugar intake is a pretty decent idea all round.
“Given the data presented defines neither the portion size nor the frequency of soft drinks it cannot provide meaningful data as to the amount of sweetener consumed by these women sufficient to influence fertility,” said Catherine Collins, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association.
“Bottom line? If you're keen to get pregnant then cutting out sugar from your drinks is a positive contribution to reducing calorie intake and managing blood sugar,” she concluded.