Low-calorie diets help women with PCOS

April 14, 2004 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Low-calorie diets help women with PCOS

Obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have menstrual irregularities that cause fertility problems and metabolic abnormalities that make them prone to diabetes. All these factors can be improved by losing weight on a low-calorie diet, according to researchers from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey.

Although weight loss is beneficial in the management of PCOS, the ideal diet composition has been unclear. This study suggests that it doesn't much matter whether the diet is high-protein or high-carb.

In a pilot study of the two dietary approaches, the researchers randomly assigned 35 obese women to a 4-week high-protein (30 percent protein) or high-carbohydrate (55 percent carbohydrate) diet for one month. Fat content was 30 percent in both diets. Each participant's energy needs and food choices were adjusted to about 1000 calories per day less than she needed to maintain her starting weight.

Participants in both groups showed significant weight loss. This amounted to an average of 3.7 kilograms (8.2 lb) in the high-protein group and 4.4 kg (9.7 lb) in the high-carbohydrate group. Also, reproductive and metabolic abnormalities improved significantly in both groups. The women's levels of male hormones declined, and glucose and insulin levels improved. Fourteen women also menstruated while on the diet.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.