Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment may hinge on diet – News – The University of Sydney

The research, which was carried out at UNSW Sydney and ANZAC Research Institute, involved giving mice which had been treated with slow-release dihydrotestosterone (DHT) pellets to produce PCOS-like traits 10 different diets with different mixes of macronutrients.

Co-author Dr Samantha Solon-Biet, from the University of Sydneys Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Medicine and Health, says another interesting finding of the research was that mice exhibiting PCOS traits put on more weight than mice in the control group (without PCOS), despite eating the same amounts of food.

The PCOS mice were heavier, even when they ate the same amount of food as the controls, Dr Solon-Biet adds.

So there must be other mechanisms involved besides food intake that are causing the increase in weight gain. Studies have reported that weight management interventions may be less effective in women with PCOS than in women without PCOS.

But our study suggests its not the amount of food that is causing the weight gain, hence identification of the other mechanisms involved could provide researchers with a new direction to develop treatments for the condition.

Lead postdoctoral researcher Dr Valentina Rodriguez Paris, who conducted the study during her PhD at UNSW Sydney, says because of the excess weight gain observed in 30-75 per cent of all women with PCOS, dietary intervention and exercise is a recommended first line treatment to reduce the severity of the symptoms, but the optimal diet has yet to be defined.

Today, what is advocated for women with PCOS is lifestyle modification having a healthy diet and doing exercise, but there is still no specific guideline on what the optimal diet should be, Dr Rodriguez Paris says.

International guidelines suggest a five to 10 per cent weight loss will help ameliorate PCOS symptoms. But there has been limited research so far on what the specific balance of macronutrients should be, which is what we were looking at in our research.

Dr Rodriguez Paris says the cohort of mice that showed signs of ovulating again had responded to a diet that has potentially important implications for humans.

What we found exciting was that where we did see the rescue? Return? of ovulation, the ratios of protein, carbs and fats were similar to what is found in a traditional Mediterranean diet, she says.

So I think this is a really strong indication that a Mediterranean diet should be explored further in human studies.

The researchers say that the next step would be a clinical study to examine whether a Mediterranean diet has benefits for women with PCOS, as well as trying to discover the mechanism behind unwanted weight gain that affects so many women with the condition.

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Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment may hinge on diet - News - The University of Sydney

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