Polycystic ovary syndrome and fiber consumption relationship explored in “first ever” meta-analysis
12 Dec 2022 --- A study published today in Nutrients, explores the relationship between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – a common endocrine disorder – and fiber consumption. The study claims that when comparing women with the syndrome to those without, energy intake from dietary fiber remained the same. However, the overall fiber intake of women with PCOS was significantly lower.
The Shanghai-based researchers argue that a deficiency in dietary fiber is associated with metabolic and reproductive abnormalities, as well as an altered gut microbial ecosystem. They flag that PCOS is associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis.
Health and fiber
Fibers play a crucial role in health as an adequate amount consumed has shown benefits, such as protecting against Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and malignancy diseases like breast- and colorectal cancer.
Found in vegetables, whole grains and fruits, fibers also play an essential role in weight control, inflammation, insulin resistance, lipid metabolism and hormonal derangements, according to the researchers.
Low consumption is associated with higher insulin levels, enhanced inflammatory response and an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colon cancers.
Furthermore, a lack of fiber in the diet is also detrimental to the maintenance of diverse microbiota and the production of short-fatty acids and other vital metabolites, negatively affecting overall health.
The researchers uncovered a “significantly lower level” of dietary fiber intake in PCOS women compared to women in the control group. They also point out that this drives future research to explore how dietary fiber intake influences PCOS.
Attention to women’s health
The study points out that PCOS affects 6 to 20% of women globally, yet the underlying reason for its development remains undetermined. It builds upon a body of previous research that has shown a relationship between the syndrome and gut microbial dysbiosis.
However, the researchers behind the paper also highlight that PCOS is still a “multifactorial disorder” with strong internal and external environmental influences,” exemplifying the gut microbiota or overall lifestyle.
They argue that dietary management is recommended as a first step for PCOS, although “there are no specific suggestions for dietary intervention in PCOS.”
Recently, French health brand Gynov launched its supplement for women with PCOS, addressing what, according to the company, is the underlying reason – nutritional deficiency.
Beyond PCOS, nutrition companies have been showing an increased interest in women’s health innovation. In October, UK-based beauty retailer Boots partnered with GenM to launch a symbol for products that are menopausal-friendly to guide consumers to healthier choices.
Edited by Beatrice Wihlander
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