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Nutritional support and dietary interventions for women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Authors Papavasiliou K, Papakonstantinou E

Received 1 June 2017

Accepted for publication 21 July 2017

Published 6 September 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 63—85


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chandrika Piyathilake

Kleopatra Papavasiliou, Emilia Papakonstantinou

Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Abstract: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in reproductive-aged women, which leads to reproductive, metabolic and hormonal abnormalities. Hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, androgen excess, ovulatory dysfunction, polycystic ovaries, gonadotropin abnormalities, obesity, adipose tissue dysfunction, difficulty to conceive and high-risk pregnancy are the most common PCOS-associated complications. The aim of this review was to describe and evaluate the effects of dietary interventions on PCOS-associated outcomes and to provide some evidence-based dietary advice for use in clinical practice. There is no optimal diet or macronutrient composition for PCOS. However, lifestyle modification, including a small-to-moderate weight loss of 5–10% (combined diet with regular physical activity) with any dietary pattern of choice, depending on the individuals’ preferences, culture, habits and metabolic needs (ie, Mediterranean diet, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension [DASH] diet or moderately low-carbohydrate diets [30–45% of energy]), as well as alternative dietary interventions, including small, frequent meal (five to six meals daily) consumption at regular times, with the majority of carbohydrates consumed at lunch time or equally distributed throughout the day, seems to offer the evidence-based first-line strategy for the management of PCOS symptoms and insulin resistance. No conclusions can be drawn at this time for high protein diets, polyunsaturated fatty acids or micronutrient supplementation.

Keywords: nutrition, meal frequency, dietary strategies, insulin resistance

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