Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinological condition that affects approximately 6-10% of women with symptoms that range from an excess of the hormone androgen, ovulation disorders, obesity, insulin resistance and reduced fertility. Insulin resistance and the resulting excess insulin circulating in the blood is particularly common in PCOS (65-70%) and especially in obese women with PCOS (70-80%). Heightened insulin levels can act by increasing ovarian androgenic stimulation, resulting in excess testosterone, and can act on the pituitary and adrenal glands. It is evident that a diet that maintains low insulin levels may improve the conditions associated with polycystic ovary syndrome. From this point of view, the ketogenic diet seems very promising.

Essential bibliography:

Fauser aC, Tarlatzis aC, Rebar RW, et al. Consensus on women's health aspects of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): the Amsterdam ESHRE/ASRM-Sponsored PCOS Consensus Workshop Group. Fertility and sterility. 2012; 97 (1): 28-38.e25.

Marshall JC, Dunaif A. Should all women with PCOS be treated for insulin resistance? Fertility and sterility. 2012; 97 (1): 18-22.

Liepa GU, Sengupta A, Karsies D. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other androgen-excess related conditions: can changes in dietary intake make a difference? Nutrition in clinical practice: official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2008; 23 (1): 63-71.

DeUgarte CM, Bartolucci AA, Azziz R. Prevalence of insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome using the homeostasis model assessment. Fertility and sterility. 2005; 83 (5): 1454-1460.

Mavropoulos JC, Yancy WS, Hepburn J, Westman CE. The effects of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet on the polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study. Nutrition and metabolism. 2005; 2: 35.

Cordain L, Eades MR, Eades MD. Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilisation: more than just Syndrome X. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 2003; 136 (1): 95-112.

Paoli A, Rubini A, Volek JS, Grimaldi KA. Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets. Eur J Clin Nutr. August 2013; 67 (8): 789-79.

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