Family

The one food women wanting to get pregnant shouldn’t eat

Licorice fans, take note.

While it may be an acquired taste to some, scientists are now suggesting that this dark-coloured sweet could actually render women infertile.

New research out of the University of Illinois has discovered that the [aniseed-based treat](http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3924484/Why-NEVER-eat-licorice-trying-baby-Study-maps-sweet-black-candy-cripples-ovary-development.html |target=”_blank”|rel=”nofollow”) has the potential to make women infertile.

During the trial, researchers tested the reproductive tissues of mice, exposing them to isoliquiritigenin (a compound found in licorice that is commonly known as iso).

What they discovered is a 50 per cent drop in an “expression of a gene for aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen”.

This is problematic in that when high levels of this compound lowers “the expression of key genes involved in hormone production”.

The take-home message? This decrease can ultimately impact a woman’s chances of falling pregnant or not.

According to one of the co-lead authors of the research piece, Jodi Flaws, when women have lower hormone levels, they may find that they have problems with reproduction.

Exposure to high levels of the compound, which the researchers call “iso,” lowered the expression of key genes involved in hormone production, the researchers found. In particular, expression of a gene for aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, dropped by 50 per cent or more.

Three food groups to eat when you’re pregnant

  • Red meat, leafy greens and legumes for iron

  • Citrus fruits, berries and bananas for folate

  • Cooked fish, nuts and cereals for zinc

If you want to learn more about what and what not to eat when you’re pregnant, contact your LMC or GP.

Related stories


Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.