Red meat boosts fertility, says Meat Advisory Panel

The Meat Advisory Panel has emphasised the importance of red meat for women planning a pregnancy.

Selenium, zinc and vitamin B6 have been cited by the panel as essential to fertility levels and reproduction, all of which are present in red meat.

Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Meat Advisory Panel said: “Red meat is often associated with fertility in so-called ‘old wives’ tales’ and has been traditionally encouraged in the diets of couples trying for a baby. Now we know, from scientific research, that the nutrients found in red meat really do have a role in normal fertility. The government recommends that adults eat up to 500g of cooked red meat a week, which gives the opportunity for four to five meat meals a week, including pork, ham, beef, lamb and bacon.”

The statement says research shows pork boosts selenium levels, which is vital because most adults across the globe have chronically low intakes of selenium due to poor levels in soil.

It adds that red meat is rich in zinc, which is necessary for efficiently making use of hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Vitamin B6 regulates normal hormonal activity and can help lengthen the luteal phase of women’s menstruation.

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