Women having difficulty conceiving welcome any suggestions to improve their fertility, especially if these suggestions involve readily available (and tasty) solutions. I’ve been asked about eating pineapple to improve fertility enough times to think that maybe there is something to this fruit suggestion. I always thought pineapple was a symbol of hospitality, rather than fertility, but sure enough, a Google search for “pineapple and infertility” turned up many endorsements on fertility blogs that claim eating a lot of pineapple at the time of the embryo transfer will enhance implantation of the embryo.
I dutifully searched more credible medical literature for any sign of a scientific study on pineapple and infertility, and I was not surprised that there was not a single citation existing on Medline or in the professional journal Fertility and Sterility. Dietary supplement suggestions, like eating an exorbitant amount of pineapple, are notoriously difficult to study in a way that proves a definite cause and effect.
After a bit more digging, I found references to an enzyme that is found in pineapple, bromelain, which may explain the pineapple mystery. Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme that was isolated from pineapple first in 1891 by a Venezuelan chemist. Bromelain has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect and has been used to treat athletic injuries, arthritis and auto-immune disorders. Although an abnormal immune response has often been implicated as the root cause of infertility, this association has not been proven. Also, bromelain is found in highest concentration in the stem of the fruit, not in the edible portion.
Therefore, eating pineapple cannot be viewed as a fertility enhancer. However, pineapple is a good choice for maintaining overall health, which is extremely important for fertility. So, eat up!