The reason may be hormones given to cattle to boost their milk and meat production, said Dr. Gary Steinman, an obstetrician specializing in multiple-birth pregnancies at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York.
Writing in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, Steinman said he compared twin births rates among women who ate a regular diet, vegetarians who included dairy products, and vegan women, Medical News Today.The vegans had twins at one-fifth the rate of the milk-drinking women. Insulin-like growth factor may be responsible, Steinman said.It is believed that a protein found in the livers of animals may be the cause.
Called Insulin-like Growth Factor or IGF, it is found in cow's milk and other animal products. In women it makes the ovaries more sensitive and increases the number of eggs produced. Higher levels of IGF improve the survival chances of an embryo in the early stages of development, BBC News repoprts.
Vegan women have about a 13 percent lower level of IGF in the blood than women who consume dairy.The number of multiple births, including twins, has increased significantly in the United States since 1975, about the time assisted reproductive technologies were introduced. And women are waiting until they are older to have children, which can increase the rate of twin boths
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