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Expectant Parents Shouldn’t Dis Dates

The Fruit Helps Childbirth & Fertility

Dates Health Benefits for Expectant Parents

By Sean Zucker –

Dates are known as nature’s candy and for good reason, they are often utilized as a healthier alternative to sweets. Healthline reports the fruit is high in antioxidants, good for the gut and enhances heart health.

The benefits of this ancient and nutritious treat may not stop there. Several international studies now suggest the ubiquitous fruit may be a boon to potential parents. Specifically, eating dates may support pregnant women and help couples who are trying to conceive.

A small team at Qom University of Medical Sciences in Iran examined how regularly consuming dates might impact pregnancy outcomes. Two researchers independently combed through several major scholarly databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase and Google Scholar for related findings. They tracked studies up to January 2019, all of which were clinical trials detailing the effects of date consumption on gestation, labor and delivery outcomes.

Ultimately, 11 studies went through a systematic review while eight others were included in the team’s meta-analysis. The researchers determined that eating dates during pregnancy drastically reduced gestation duration; increased cervical dilation when initially admitted to the hospital during birthing; slightly shortened the duration of the first stage of labor; and significantly reduced the duration of the second stage of labor.

“Date fruit intake seems to reduce gestation duration and [the] duration of the first stage of labor and also increase cervical dilation on admission,” the study’s authors concluded.

This study was preceded by research out of the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid. These researchers recruited 69 pregnant women to eat six dates a day for the four weeks leading up to their estimated delivery dates. They also tracked 45 pregnant women who didn’t eat any dates before giving birth. When arriving at the hospital, the women who consumed dates had more intact membranes, meaning the cervix was readier for the birthing process per the study. Additionally, the date eaters enjoyed a shorter first stage of labor and a higher mean cervical dilatation on average.

More recently, scientists at the University of Agriculture in Pakistan inspected how the habit of eating dates might influence fertility. It focused on date palm pollen (DPP) and its potential effects on male reproductive parameters such as sperm count, motility and morphology. This team divided 40 male Wistar rats into four groups designated low-DPP, moderate-DPP, high-DDP and a control. The three date-consuming groups were then fed doses of DPP corresponding with their designation while the control rats received none.

After a trial period of 30 days, various reproductive parameters were assessed such as sperm count, motility and viability, as well as levels of reproductive hormones like testosterone. The results revealed significant improvements in these reproductive parameters among rats supplemented with DPP compared to the control group. Specifically, rats in the moderate and high-DPP groups exhibited higher sperm count, motility and viability, indicating enhanced sperm quality. The researchers also discovered that these moderate and high-DPP-consuming rats had increased levels of testosterone. Testosterone ultimately plays a crucial role in male reproductive function and may contribute to improvements in sperm quality and fertility, the study concluded.

The study’s authors, however, did concede that while there is a clear link between date palms and increased fertility more research with human subjects is still needed.





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