Will eating pineapple core boost embryo implantation?
Eating right and having a good diet go a long way in maintaining good reproductive health. Several clinical guidelines emphasize that a well-balanced, wholesome diet can play a pivotal role in your journey to motherhood. While there is little scientific evidence, if at all, regarding any specific food that supercharges your fertility, there is no shortage of blogs and forums recommending such foods and supplements that contain bromelain (pineapple).
One of the most common foods you will encounter in such blogs and forums is the good old pineapple! Not the entire fruit, mind you, just the core.
In this post, we will try to decipher the mystery surrounding the pineapple core and find out whether it has any link to improving your chances of conception. Spoiler alert! There is no scientific evidence suggesting that eating pineapple core can combat infertility.
So, what does it mean? Well, if you love pineapple, keep eating them but don’t expect that eating the pineapple core will somehow supercharge your fertility, that’s all. On the other hand, there is no reason to fret if you don’t like pineapple either. Not eating pineapple will have zero effect on your chances of getting pregnant.
Why do people think that eating pineapple core will help them get pregnant?
The notion that pineapple can help you conceive by promoting implantation stems from the fact that pineapple core is a good source of an enzyme called Bromelain. This enzyme has plenty of uses, from removing dead skin to pain reduction after an operation.
Bromelain is supposed to work by exerting anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties. Some reproductive conditions such as endometriosis involve inflammation, which in turn can cause issues in implantation. Hence, some people believe that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties can help improve the health of the uterine lining, increase blood flow, and facilitate implantation.
However, implantation is a complex process that is very carefully controlled by a slew of other factors beyond the thickness or vascularity of the endometrium. Hence, there is little reason to believe that anticoagulation and suppression of inflammation is the magic bullet that will solve the problem of implantation. What’s more, there is little to no scientific research that backs this notion as well.
On the other spectrum of things, a few people believe that eating too much pineapple before ovulating can make your vaginal and cervical pH acidic. The reason is that sperms will have a hard time surviving in such an acidic environment. While it’s true that sperm will have problems surviving in too acidic of a medium, but there is not much scientific evidence that supports the claim that eating pineapple will change the pH of your vagina or cervix.
Bromelain, implantation, and chances of conception
Any major scientific study does not back the idea that eating pineapple core can improve your chances of conception. After scouring through the archives of all the top medical journals, not a single peer-reviewed paper can be found relating pineapple to implantation. There are no studies on women benefitting from eating pineapple core after an IVF procedure either. Almost all medical professionals believe that there is no evidence of improved implantation due to pineapple consumption.
In the absence of solid scientific studies, people often resort to anecdotal incidences reported in personal blogs and pregnancy forums. There are plenty of people trying to sell Bromelain supplements out there, and most of the anecdotal evidence comes from them. As there is no reason to believe that taking Bromelain supplements can improve your fertility or help in implantation, such supplements should be taken cautiously. If you plan to take them, it will be in your best interest to talk to your doctor first.
The pros and cons of pineapple core for improving your fertility
Not having any evidence suggesting that pineapple can help you improve your fertility does not mean it is not to eat pineapple. It is a great fruit having a ton of vitamin C and antioxidants that are good for you. Eating just a 170gram serving of this fruit will give you a 100% recommended vitamin C quota for the day.
There is no evidence suggesting that eating too many slices of pineapple or even core can be damaging in any way either. Although consuming a large dose of Bromelain can be dangerous in certain cases, you can’t reach those levels simply by eating pineapple. That said, Bromelain supplements can contain high amounts of enzyme, and taking too many pills can cause issues. People who’re on anticoagulants or antibiotics such as amoxicillin should be wary of excess Bromelain consumption. It would be best to consult your OBGYN before starting on any supplement, including Bromelain.
A deeper dive into Bromelain & pineapple myth
The whole theory that Bromelain is good for implantation hinges on two very crucial assumptions-
- It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, and
- It has a good anticoagulant property; However, to even consider that Bromelain might be of use, one has to find out whether the compound has these properties in the first place and how strong these effects are.
When you dive a bit deeper into the data, it soon becomes clear that the anticoagulation and anti-inflammatory property of Bromelain in living humans is not studied enough. Some studies on the compound’s anti-inflammatory properties, but almost all of the studies are done either on animals or cell lines and not in living humans.
To make matters worse, some studies have also found contradicting reports on the anticoagulation property of Bromelain in the body. They found that the compound exerts an opposite effect once it is inside the body compared to it outside the body.
Considering all these studies and the little evidence that we have makes it is clear that the compound’s purported anti-inflammatory and anticoagulation properties are questionable.
Another issue with the argument is whether anti-inflammatory and anticoagulation properties are better for implantation in the first place. Well, there might be some actual scientific evidence regarding this in the literature. It has been shown in many studies that taking small doses of aspirin while undergoing frozen embryo transfer cycles can help improve implantation rates. This is at least in part is attributed to the anticoagulation effect of aspirin. Some of the OBGYNs prescribe a baby aspirin for pregnant women to help improve the blood flow in the uterus and placenta; there is not much evidence suggesting that it is helpful.
A review published in 2016 clearly stated that there is no statistical benefit of consuming aspirin on the outcome and probability of conception. Another study failed to find any significant benefits of using anti-inflammatory or anticoagulation compounds before or during pregnancy.
What can we conclude? Well, all we can say is that the idea that Bromelain (or eating pineapple core) won’t magically improve your fertility or help in implantation. The whole notion of it being helpful stands on shaky grounds; while it might seem logical to listen to, there is little scientific evidence backing it up.
Eating pineapple core is on the long list of so-called helpful hacks, along with trying different sex positions or fertility crystals that don’t pass the scientific test. You might see them pop again and again on some fertility blogs or in some online forums; they don’t work. Always fact-check the information whenever you read about a hack or a sure-fire way of improving your fertility. Rely on reputed sources, scientific papers rather than online forums for your information.
Here at Fertility2Family, we have a series of scientific blogs vetted for accuracy and help. We have a lot of fertility supplements that are backed by science on sale as well. Do check them out by clicking here. We also have some of the best and cheapest pregnancy and ovulation kits that you can buy in Australia on our website. Feel free to check them out here.
If you love pineapple, eat as much as you want. If you hate it, don’t eat it. Either way, it will not have any impact on your fertility or chance of getting pregnant!