Monday, February 14, 2011

Study - Effects of Low Carb Diet on PCOS (which I have)

by John C Mavropoulos,William S Yancy, Juanita Hepburn, and Eric C Westman

Excerpt from Discussion Section:
"This pilot study showed that adherence to a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet led to improvement in body weight, percent free testosterone, LH/FSH ratio, fasting serum insulin, and symptoms in women diagnosed with PCOS over a six-month period. Further research is needed to determine if the benefits were from weight loss or from carbohydrate restriction specifically."


  1. It might be that weight loss eased the pressure that fat had on the ovaries.

  2. Hi Joyce, Thanks for chiming in.

    I think that it is more than just the weight loss.

    I don't pretend to be an endocrinologist, but I know what I have been advised. PCOS is a syndrome of hormonal imbalance and it responds particularly well to a low carb diet. This came to me from my endocrinologist and a registered dietician I consulted with after my initial PCOS diagnosis. Smarter people than I have opined on this issue, and I will let them do the talking. Don't take my word for it! Check out the Science tab for links to articles on PCOS in published medical journals, or just google "PCOS low carb" yourself for more up-to-date information. You can get free, full text medical publications on pub med (which you can also google). Pub med has its own search capabilities, so see what you can find.

    As a note and a statement of personal opinion, one basic foundational issue that many LCHF advocates (including me) agree on is that obesity is a symptom of hormonal imbalance, often wrought or exacerbated by the standard American diet, which is carb-heavy. LCHF moves away from blaming the fat person for being fat, and focuses, instead, on addressing the several issues that cause someone to be fat and sick.

    I, for one, think it is about flipping time. I have been fat since I was an 8 year old. For me, being fat is the status quo. I can barely remember a time when I was average weight.

    For me, being a fat kid wasn't about calories, because I ate what the other kids were eating, and they were thin. It wasn't about exercise, because I played and biked and ran and swam just like the other kids, and they were thin. I was fat, but I didn't drink soda and I wasn't lazy. So, what was the culprit of my fat youth? Only a few years ago, I used to live on Lean Cuisines, and carefully kept my daily caloric intake to about 1400 calories/day. I lost 13 pounds, but I ended up gaining it all back in a couple of months.

    The only significant weight loss that I have achieved and sustained has been on LCHF. In one year on a LCHF diet, I went from being pre-diabetic to normal, based on my HbA1c scores. I got my periods back. I conceived. I lost about 40 pounds, and from my measurements, I can tell you that most of the inches I lost came from my abdominal fat stores, thank God. I am not in perfect health, but I feel a lot better.

    Color me a believer!


  3. The weight is a symptom of PCOS, not the cause of PCOS! My daughter is underweight and has PCOS, but has 3 of the 5 symptoms that points to PCOS, cysts, facial hair and cycles don't happen. Another daughter has the symptoms of weight, facial hair, acne and occasional cysts. PCOS is a cousin to diabetes (which is what I have) and the low carb diet helps with both PCOS and diabetes...



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