Share on PinterestA new study shows that women with PCOS who follow the keto diet may see improved fertility, weight loss, and lower testosterone. Anchiy/Getty ImagesBetween 8–13% of reproductive-aged women worldwide have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).There is no cure for PCOS, but treatment options exist for alleviating symptoms and lowering associated health risks. A recent study shows that women with PCOS who follow the ketogenic diet may experience improvements in fertility, weight loss, and lower testosterone levels.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 8–13% of reproductive-aged women worldwide have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — a chronic condition that causes hormonal imbalances and may lead to infertility.
There is currently no cure for PCOS. Doctors utilize medications, fertility treatments, surgical options, and lifestyle changes — including diet and exercise — to help treat the condition’s symptoms and lower the associated health risks.
In a recent study, researchers from the Ministry of Health Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, have found evidence suggesting women with PCOS who follow the ketogenic diet may see improvements in fertility, weight loss, and lower testosterone levels.
This study was recently published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.
PCOS occurs when the ovaries over-secrete testosterone and other male sex hormones called androgens.
People with PCOS do not make enough of the hormones needed for ovulation, which can lead to irregular periods and infertility.
Between 70–80% of females of reproductive age with PCOS also have fertility issues.
Additionally, some women with PCOS will develop small cysts on their ovaries, also contributing to a hormone imbalance.
In addition to ovarian cysts, high androgen levels, irregular periods, and infertility, other symptoms of PCOS can include:
According to Dr. Karniza Khalid, a researcher at the Ministry of Health Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and lead author of this study, the effects of the keto diet on PCOS have been previously explored in clinical studies.
However, no systematic review has studied how the keto diet affects reproductive hormone…