Bumper crop of fertility


The reproductive success of men and women is influenced by the food they receive peri- or postnatally, according to new research by the University of Sheffield. Published online in the journal Ecology, it is the first study to link food consumption during super early development and eventual

The data used for the study goes way back. Dr. Ian Rickard led the research team and used a combination of church birth records from 18th century Finland and overlaid it with agricultural data pertaining to rye
and barley yields.

The data showed a correlation between bumper crops in infancy and later reproduction. The opposite was also true. If the crops were poor in infancy, those children would later reproduce very few babies of their own. Approximately half of the poor people who were born in a year in which both rye and barley yields were low would not go on to have any children.

These results may indicate that food received during prenatal or early postnatal life may limit the development of the reproductive system. Or, my
opinion, it may indicate that eating lots of barley and rye as a baby will lead to reproductive success.

“Or results show that the food received by children born into poor families had an influence on their later reproductive success. These results have
implications for our understanding of early environmental effects on human and animal health and will help shed light on our current understanding of
fertility and whether it is influenced by individual or social factors,” said Dr. Rickard.

I want grandchildren. My boys will all start eating rye bread today.

Source: University of Sheffield, Science Daily


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