Strategy could combat age-related fertility issues

8th July 2011

A research team at Massachusetts General Hospital have shown that restricting calorific intake can help tackle age-related fertility issues.

The study, which is detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, highlighted that the strategy prevented declining egg quality in older female mice.

"We also identified a gene that can be manipulated to reproduce the effects of dietary caloric restriction and improve egg quality in aging animals fed a normal diet, which gives us clues that we may be able to alter this highly regulated process with compounds now being developed to mimic the effects of caloric restriction," commented Dr Jonathan Tilly, director of the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology in the MGH Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The study built upon previous research which found that if animals' food intake is restricted, but not lowered to the point of malnutrition, they can live longer and show fewer signs of ageing.

It now remains to be seen if the effects of the study can be replicated in humans.

Around one in seven couples struggle to conceive due to fertility issues.

Posted by Philip Briggs

K. Selesniemi, H.-J. Lee, A. Muhlhauser, J. L. Tilly.Prevention of maternal aging-associated oocyte aneuploidy and meiotic spindle defects in mice by dietary and genetic strategies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)