Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, often experience irregular menstrual periods, infertility, insulin resistance, overweight, elevated cholesterol and type-2 diabetes. Higher levels of male hormones circulating in the body may contribute to symptoms such as acne and hairiness. The causes and treatment of PCOS remain confusing.
A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates may be beneficial for these women. The subjects in this trial were assigned to either a high protein diet, getting 40 percent of their calories from protein, or a standard diet in which 15 percent of the calories were from protein. Those on the high-protein diet lost more weight, decreased their waist circumference and controlled their blood sugar levels better. The investigators conclude that replacing carbs with protein could be helpful for women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
[American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jan. 2012]