This week’s family friendly research news includes a look at how one’s diet can diminish the risks associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as the link between parental substance abuse and a child’s intellectual disability.
Try keto for PCOS
As many as 1 in 10 women of child-bearing age have polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause infertility and raise the risk of metabolic health problems or diabetes. But new research suggests a ketogenic diet can lower testosterone levels and ease symptoms.
That’s according to a study from Malaysia just published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society that says a high fat, low carbohydrate diet can help women with the condition lose weight and keep it off. It may also improve fertility, normalize their menstruation and help their cholesterol levels.
PCOS, as it’s commonly called, is marked by higher-than-normal levels of testosterone and other androgen hormones, irregular periods and small cysts on the ovaries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the condition is a common cause of female infertility, impacting 6-12% of U.S. women in the reproductive age range. The women may also be more prone to acne, thinning scalp hair and excess hair growth on the face and body, CDC said.
The condition also elevates the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol and low good cholesterol, sleep apnea and stroke. Women with PCOS may also be more prone to depression and anxiety, though little is known about why that risk increases.
According to a news release about the study, “They found women with PCOS who were on the keto diet for at least 45 days saw significant weight loss and an improvement in their reproductive hormone levels. Their follicle-stimulating hormone ratio was lower, which means they may have a better chance of ovulating. The women also had lower testosterone levels, which could help with excess hair growth and other symptoms of excess male sex hormones.”
If mom or dad has a substance use disorder
Research from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that children with a parent who has either a drug or alcohol use disorder are at greater risk of…