Dietary Intervention For Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Adolescents

sharma-obesity-pcos1While there is evidence that weight loss can be beneficial for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), there are few studies that have actually done this in a controlled fashion – even fewer in adolescents.

To test the feasibility of a dietary intervention aimed at weight loss in adolescents, Wong and colleagues from Boston Children’s Hospital, conducted a study, the results of which are published in Pediatric Obesity.

The study was conducted in 19 overweight and obese adolescents with PCOS and not using hormonal contraceptives, who were randomised either to a a low-glycaemic load or a low-fat diet.

In the 16 participants who completed the study, reduction in body fat on either diet was minimal (between 1.2 and 2.2%) with no changes in bioavailable testosterone (as the primary outcome of the study).

Not only did recruiting adolescents for this study pose a challenge (in part due to widespread use of hormonal contraception) but also the impact on weight and biochemical hyperandrogenism were marginal at best.

Clearly, as the authors note,

“Innovative strategies are needed to recruit adolescents for studies aimed at assessing independent effects of diet on features of PCOS.”

Exactly what those innovative strategies may look like, remains an open question.

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