Couples can boost their chances of getting pregnant by drinking a daily smoothie, a study found.
Those given a 200ml drink containing vitamins C and D, omega 3, and folic acid in clementine juice had a conception rate that was almost five per cent higher.
The same quantity of nutrients could be found in one multivitamin tablet and a portion of salmon. But researchers from the University of Southampton say trendy smoothies are quicker to consume and easier to remember.
They tested their formulation on 102 couples who were undergoing IVF. Half were given the drink for six weeks before starting treatment, while the others were given standard fruit juice.
Results showed the real drink helped the equivalent of an extra woman in every 23 get pregnant.
It is likely to have the same effect on couples trying to conceive naturally.
Study leader Dr Alexandra Kermack said: “Previous research shows that omega 3 is absolutely vital for sperm, making them stronger swimmers, and vitamin D makes the womb more receptive and ‘sticky’ for the embryo to implant.
“The problem is getting people to consume them. The smoothie is a really good way of getting nutrients into people.
“They are so fashionable and you just take them out of the fridge every morning, where previous studies show people tend to forget tablets.”
Embryos taken from the couples that had consumed the smoothies grew faster and looked healthier at a key stage of their development process.
Dr Kermack added: “This study suggests that a smoothie containing omega 3, vitamin D and all-important folic acid improves the chances of pregnancy and we hope this could in future be recommended to infertile couples trying to conceive.”
Susan Seenan, from Fertility Network UK, said: “When you’re struggling and failing to become pregnant, the vast majority of people say they will try anything to improve their chances of success.
“Fertility advice starts with having a healthy lifestyle so, given the intriguing initial clinical data around drinking fruit smoothies to improve IVF success, it is likely many couples will consider such drinks as something else to try.
“However, as with all new research, we want to see robust clinical trials taking place.”
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Geneva, Switzerland.