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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Low-carb diet may help for PCOS

Attention ladies! Here's some news about low carb
diets that may be of interest to those of you who are
looking to get pregnant.

The effects of PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, a
cause of infertility in women of child bearing age, may
be lessened by a low carb diet plan.

Get the story below.

Health 24 - News, Weight management/Obesity:
Low-carb diet may help for PCOS
Last updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Adopting a low-carb diet may improve fertility
problems and hormone profiles of women suffering
from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), says US

PCOS affects between five and ten percent of all
women of childbearing age and is a leading cause of
infertility, according to the US National Women's
Health Information Center. While the direct cause
is not known, the condition is strongly associated
with insulin resistance.

European Society of Human Reproduction and
Embryology (ESHRE) define the condition as having
irregular ovulation, increased levels of the make
hormone androgen, and the presence of cysts on the

The researchers, led by Crystal Douglas from the
University of Alabama at Birmingham, hypothesised
that a low-carbohydrate diet could increase insulin
sensitivity, and decrease circulating insulin levels,
which in turn decreases levels of insulin-stimulated
androgen synthesis.

How the research was conducted

Eleven non-diabetic women with clinically diagnosed
PCOS were recruited to take part in three 16-day
trials. The women consumed three test diets with
three-week washout periods between each diet
intervention period. The average age of the women
was 33, with an average BMI of 30 kg per square

The effects of the low-carbohydrate or a mono-
unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA)-enriched diet were
compared to a standard diet containing 56 percent
carbohydrates, 16 percent protein and 31 percent fat.
The fatty acid content of the standard diet was 10
percent polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and 13
percent MUFA.

The low-carb diet consisted of 43 percent carb, 15
percent protein and 45 percent fat. PUFAs made up
17 percent, while MUFAs accounted for 18 percent.
The MUFA-enriched diet consisted of 55 percent
carb, 15 percent protein and 33 percent fat. PUFAs
made up 6 percent, while MUFAs accounted for 17
percent. All diets were equally calorific.

The low-carb diet “significantly affected concentrations
of fasting insulin, cholesterol, free fatty acids, and
acute insulin response to glucose, but circulating
concentrations of the reproductive hormones were not
significantly affected by the intervention,” wrote the
authors in the journal Fertility and Sterility
(Vol. 85, pp. 679-688).

From baseline values, levels of fasting insulin decreased
by 31 percent, and the acute insulin response to glucose
decreased by 16 percent for the low-carb diet. The
MUFA-enriched diet decreased levels of insulin by 25
percent, and the acute insulin response to glucose level
actually increased by seven percent.

Additional favourable results“Because elevated insulin
is thought to contribute to the endocrine abnormalities
in PCOS, a reduction in insulin would be expected to
ultimately result in an improved endocrine profile.

Utilising this low-carbohydrate diet in conjunction with
a reduced-calorie, weight-loss regimen may produce
additional favourable results in overweight and obese
PCOS subjects,” concluded the researchers. –
(Decision News Media)

low carb diet


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