Anti-Inflammatory Diet

All health care starts with diet. My recommendations for a healthy diet are here:
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle.
There are over 190 articles on diet, inflammation and disease on this blog
(find topics using search [upper left] or index [lower right]), and
more articles by Prof. Ayers on Suite101 .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Miscarriage and Inflammation

Miscarriage occurs when inflammation of a pregnant uterus occurs too soon and induces labor. Aspirin, heparin and omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation and decrease the risk of premature birth.

Pregnancy requires that a woman’s body resist the normal immunological response to foreign, non-self antigens, i.e. the fetus that has half of its genes from the father. This means that conception requires suppression of inflammation and if the woman’s reproductive system has too high a level of chronic inflammation, she may be infertile. In these cases of infertility, suppression of inflammation with aspirin and heparin can permit the woman to become pregnant and sustain a pregnancy to full term. Other approaches, e.g. omega-3 fatty acids and an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, should also be helpful.

Labor and birth are a result of a peak of inflammation as the baby reaches full term. A single aspirin at the first stages of labor can suppress labor. Premature labor can be suppressed with aspirin and heparin, another anti-inflammatory drug more commonly associated with one of its other effects, clot prevention. A recent study showed that omega-3 fatty acids taken as a fish oil supplement were just as effective as aspirin in suppressing premature labor. It may be considered likely that the high incidence of chronic inflammation, prominently recognized in the metabolic syndrome associated with obesity, may significantly contribute to increasing rates of infertility, miscarriage and permature births.


Gentille said...

Dear Dr. Ayers,
I have had 3 consecutive miscarriages and no live births in the last 4 years, and I test high for natural killer cells, and low for Treg (T Regulatory) and for FoxP3 cells. I've been looking for a supplement that might help bring back my immune system into balance. I was wondering if you know of such a supplement(s), other than fish oil, which I already take. Also, have you heard of butyrate being able to help calm in calming down an overactive (auto)immune system?


Dr. Art Ayers said...

I would suspect that your overall diet is inflammatory, so that a single supplement, such as a couple of capsules of fish oil wouldn't be able to help very much.

The general anti-inflammatory diet that I outline at the top of the blog is what I recommend.

I suspect that you are vitamin D deficient, so your would have to supplement with 5,000-10,000 IU per day or the rest of the diet will still not be successful.

You need to get rid of your vegetable oil and start using olive and butter for cooking. You are probably low on saturated fat and that is needed for your fish oil to be helpful.

Avoid fructose in all forms: no sucrose or high fructose corn syrup.

Eat plenty of meat/fish/eggs and avoid starch.

Grains may be a problem for gluten intolerance, so avoid them.

Eat your veggies and stop after you get pregnant.

It may not make sense to you, but continuing to be exposed to semen after you are pregnant increases your chances of staying pregnant, so continue to have unprotected sex.

You are probably not taking enough fish oil -- at least six capsules per day. (Vegetable oil cancels out the fish oil, so if you were taking fish oil before and it didn't help, you had some other source of omega-6 oils.

Make sure that you don't have other sources of inflammation, such as dental problems.

Eat plenty of yogurt with live bacteria for probiotics.

Let me know of your progress.

tillymint said...

Dear Dr Ayers

My experiences with miscarriages brought me to this blog too, after googling connections between allergies and miscarriage.

I have had 2 consecutive miscarriages and no live births.

I see in your blog that you advise against grains. I thought I was doing 'good' with my morning porridge! I guess not......would gluten-free porridge be ok?

Also I am confused about avoiding 'plants' as this does seem to include vegetables. What is classified as 'plant food'? Where do lentils and chick peas etc fit in?

My routine at the moment involves a warm water drink with fresh lemon juice and grated ginger, is this ok?

I also take an Eye Q combination omega 3 marine oil and evening primrose oil. I find when I take most brands of just fish oil I get a headache within the half hour. I take a vitamin supplement, extra Vit C, and magnesium. I find that I am constipated even though apart from porridge I do not eat much breads/carbs or sugar.

I would like to do whatever I can to have a successful pregnancy. Any advice would be appreciated. I note in the last post you advised to stop veggies when pregnant. Why?


Sarah said...

Oh, I wish I had known these things about 9 years ago after I had my first miscarriage. I went on to have two more losses and would've done all of these recommendations. It makes so much sense.

I was tested and seem to have some genetic blood clotting (too much) tendencies, so I did use baby aspirin and took plenty of fish oil for my last two pregnancies, which were successful!!

I will be doing the 6 week cure, and then follow the anti-inflammatory diet you recommend. If we decide to try for another pregnancy, hopefully, I will be in good shape.

Lulu said...

Kära Dr. Ayers,

Have been reading your blog for a while now since I started doing research on anti inflammatory diet. Thanks so much for writing this blog, it is extremely helpful.

I had couple of very early miscarriages last year. And 3 years ago, I developed strange spring and summer allergies. At the beginning of this year, I changed my diet to anti inflammatory, so far no allergies at all!

Would you think that my allergy and miscarriages are somehow related? like what you mentioned in the article, something wrong perhaps with my immune response?

Thanks so much


chantelle nugent said...

Dr Ayers,

I am a 37 yo Fertility patient using donor eggs due to being a poor responder. I have had four losses, one at 5 weeks, one at 7 1/2 weeks, one at 10 weeks and one at 20 weeks. All except the 5 weeks happen the same way...I begin to slightly bleed and then begin to cramp, horribly! I basically go into labor and have contractions every minute to three and intensify with time. The bleeding will often get heavier to where I am passing clots the size of my fist. The three times I have gone to the hospital, the baby/babies are always there and have a great heartbeat and progress in growth but then I will typically lose them sometime that night by passing or delivering. I have been on estridol and progesterone injections for all until 14 weeks or until loss, aspirin for the 10 week, and lovanox starting at 6 1/2 weeks for the 7 1/2 week. My doctor is considering aspirin and heparin for this next and last round. Any thoughts???

Thank you for your time!