Liver may hold key to fertility riddle?
Unexplained infertility is ever-more common, however new research points at an unlikely organ as having an important role in conception – the liver.
A report in Cell Metabolism’s shows that estrogen receptors in the liver are critical for maintaining fertility.
The study may have important implications for conception and menopause.
“The idea that diet may have an impact on fertility isn’t totally new of course, but this explains how diet, and especially a diet poor in protein, can have a direct influence.” said Adriana Maggi of The University of Milan in Italy.
Mice on a calorie-restricted,diet and those lacking estrogen receptors in their livers showed a decline in an important hormone that influences growth of the uterus lining.
When the calorie-restricted mice were given more protein, their reproductive cycles got back on track.
Given the liver’s role as a central coordinator of metabolism and producer of many other important hormones, she says, drugs that “target only the liver may solve all the problems.”
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