Ovulatory effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

Eardley, Tenika
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to influence ovulation in rodents; different types have been shown to either positively or negatively influence ovulation. While an increase in ovulation by 1.4 fold has been seen, it is uncertain if the increase in ovulation leads to an increase in viable offspring. Recent research has determined that women have oocytes of varying maturity; primary oocytes being the mature, fertilized type that will result in a fetus; and secondary being immature and often containing genetic abnormalities. It is unknown whether secondary oocytes can be matured into primary oocytes and therefore give rise to a fetus upon fertilization. This study will help determine whether or not the increase in ovulation in rats with omega-3 rich diets consists of; primary oocytes only, or a combination of primary and secondary oocytes. The implications this may have to women with poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are huge. If in fact, secondary oocytes mature into primary oocytes, women with PCOS whose fertility is compromised may have better odds at having children. This may also have agricultural implications in animals with multi-offspring potential, particularly swine.
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