In a nutshell
This paper studied dietary patterns in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The authors concluded that women who followed a healthy diet were more likely to have an ongoing pregnancy.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition whereby cysts form in the ovaries. This can affect ovary function and many patients with PCOS experience complications such as hormone imbalance and reduced fertility. PCOS is a complex genetic disorder that interacts with environmental factors, such as diet and weight gain. Previous studies have suggested that diets rich in vitamin B are associated with increased chances of pregnancy. Dietary patterns in patients with PCOS wishing to get pregnant have not been fully studied.
Methods & findings
55 women with PCOS were studied. 25 women had abnormally high androgen levels (high levels of male sex hormones such as testosterone). 30 women had normal androgen levels. The diets of all women were analyzed based on their nutritional value and classified either as unhealthy or healthy. Unhealthy diets were high in refined grains, liquid fat, margarine, sauces, snacks and sugars, and low in fruits, whole grain, soup, diary, nuts and fish. Healthy diets were high in vegetables, cereals and legumes and low in fat, meat, snacks, eggs and alcohol.
Women with high androgen levels were more often obese and had a lower level of education. Following a healthy diet was associated with a lower incidence of PCOS with abnromally high androgen levels. An unhealthy diet had no significant effect on androgen levels in PCOS.
Women with an ongoing pregnancy more often followed a healthy diet compared with non-pregnant women. Overall, the chance of an ongoing pregnancy was 3.38 times higher in women who followed a healthy diet. No significant association was observed between an unhealthy diet and the chance of ongoing pregnancy.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that women who followed a healthy diet were less likely to have abnormally high androgen levels and more likely to have an ongoing pregnancy.
The fine print
Larger studies are needed to confirm these results.
Published By :
Reproductive BioMedicine Online
Mar 16, 2017