Probiotics and PCOS

Probiotics and PCOS
Probiotic bacteria are emerging as a new approach to helping women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with promising results. In 2017 a randomized, double-blind placebo study (1) published in the medical journal Human Fertility examined the effects of a daily probiotic supplement on weight loss, glycemic balance and blood lipids in women with PCOS.

Sixty women with PCOS were randomized to take a probiotic supplement (30 women) or a placebo daily over twelve weeks while changes in weight and blood glucose and lipids were monitored.

Surprisingly, women who took a probiotic supplement daily experienced significant weight loss compared with placebo-users, and additionally, women who took the probiotic experienced a significant decrease in fasting plasma glucose and serum insulin levels.

Measures of insulin resistance such as homoeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA) scores and homoeostatic model assessment-beta cell function scores also changed significantly along with serum triglycerides.

The study concluded that probiotics may indeed help to create a very positive shift in some of the metabolic imbalances which underlie PCOS and PCOS-related sub-fertility.

“We found that probiotic supplementation among PCOS women for 12 weeks had favourable effects on weight loss, markers of insulin resistance, triglycerides and VLDL-cholesterol concentrations.”

Previous studies in women with gestational diabetics (2) have also found probiotics to be helpful. And a 2018 study (3) on women with PCOS found that just three months of probiotic supplementation's was linked with positive effects on levels of testosterone, reductions in a key marker for inflammation - CRP and increased total antioxidant levels (TAC).

"Overall, probiotic supplementation of PCOS women for 12 weeks had beneficial effects on total testosterone, SHBG, mFG scores, hs-CRP, TAC and MDA levels"

If you're struggling to conceive with PCOS, a daily probiotic may be a good option for nudging insulin resistance and lipids back towards a more fertile zone, zapping inflammation and may also help prepare for a healthy pregnancy.

A diet rich in fermented foods such as naturally fermented sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt and natural pickles may also be helpful.

(1) Hum Fertile (Camb) Feb 1:1-8. doi: 10.1080/14647273.2017.1283446. [Epub ahead of print]
Probiotic supplementation and the effects on weight loss, glycaemia and lipid profiles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ahmadi S1,2, Jamilian M3, Karamali M1, Tajabadi-Ebrahimi M4, Jafari P5, Taghizadeh M6, Memarzadeh MR7, Asemi Z6.

(2) Diabetes Metab. 2016 Sep;42(4):234-41. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2016.04.009. Epub 2016 May 18.
Effects of probiotic supplementation on glycaemic control and lipid profiles in gestational diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Karamali M1, Dadkhah F1, Sadrkhanlou M1, Jamilian M2, Ahmadi S3, Tajabadi-Ebrahimi M4, Jafari P5, Asemi Z6.

(3)Arch Iran Med. 2018 Jan 1;21(1):1-7. Effects of Probiotic Supplementation on Hormonal Profiles, Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Karamali M1, Eghbalpour S1, Rajabi S1, Jamilian M2, Bahmani F3, Tajabadi-Ebrahimi M4, Keneshlou F5, Mirhashemi SM6, Chamani M1, Hashem Gelougerdi S7, Asemi Z3.

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