Keto weight loss plan as a PCOS remedy

Reproductive operate is important to human survival and well-being. Thus, the incidence of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in ladies, typically related to infertility, has acquired appreciable consideration amongst researchers.

A current examine revealed within the journal Current Nutrition Reports explores the position of the ketogenic weight loss plan within the remedy of PCOS.

Study: Ketogenic Diet as Medical Prescription in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Image Credit: Nina Firsova /

Research: Ketogenic Diet as Medical Prescription in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Picture Credit score: Nina Firsova /


PCOS is an endocrine situation that impacts the ovaries, typically main to numerous combos of elevated androgen ranges with/or oligo-ovulation or polycystic ovaries. In consequence, about 4 in ten affected ladies are infertile.

PCOS can be linked to a number of metabolic issues, together with glucose intolerance, kind 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperinsulinism, insulin resistance, hypertension, and fatty liver. As well as, an earlier report advised a hyperlink between PCOS and extreme dietary carbohydrate consumption, resulting in insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism. Weight problems can be extra prevalent amongst ladies with PCOS.

These elements have led many sorts of diets to be studied for his or her impact on PCOS, with this analysis typically centered on how the diminished consumption of refined carbohydrates and saturated or trans fat within the weight loss plan could also be helpful.

A variation of the Mediterranean weight loss plan often called the ketogenic Mediterranean weight loss plan with phytoextracts (KEMEPHY), in addition to the low glycemic index (GI) weight loss plan and low saturated fats weight loss plan, are a number of the totally different interventions which have been examined for his or her efficacy in PCOS administration.

Particularly, the very-low-calorie ketogenic weight loss plan (VLCKD) has garnered help amongst weight reduction lovers and the scientific neighborhood as a consequence of its purported effectiveness in decreasing physique fats and assuaging metabolic dysfunction reminiscent of glucose intolerance and dyslipidemias.

Within the VLCKD, fat present 90% of energy, with carbohydrates and proteins offering the remaining 10%. This weight loss plan is adopted in three phases, starting with the energetic stage, adopted by the re-education and upkeep phases. The VLCKD has been proven to help speedy weight reduction whereas sustaining lean mass, thus preserving glucose metabolism all through the method.

The present examine critiques obtainable proof in favor of the VLCKD in treating PCOS.

What did the examine present?

Analysis exhibits that physique composition and carbohydrate metabolism are concerned in PCOS. These alterations are exacerbated by weight problems and subsequently result in dyslipidemia and dysregulated carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, with a particular signature recognizable as that of PCOS.

In consequence, PCOS is usually related to weight problems, low-grade irritation, together with insulin resistance, and the ensuing hyperinsulinemia.

The present evaluate establishes that weight reduction alone is insufficient to enhance reproductive operate. Due to this fact, together with decreasing the consumption of fatty acids and excessive GI meals, there ought to be a rise within the consumption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), vitamin D, and chromium-rich meals.

Vital dietary interventions

The Mediterranean weight loss plan exhibits preliminary effectiveness in managing PCOS by decreasing irritation, insulin resistance, and androgen ranges.

Different dietary interventions examined on this space embody the low GI weight loss plan, which could scale back irritation in PCOS by elevated glutathione peroxidase exercise, a potent antioxidant molecule. Moreover, the pulse-based weight loss plan, which supplies high-quality proteins, complicated carbohydrates, and elevated fiber, has resulted in higher ovarian morphology and diminished androgen ranges.

The Dietary Approaches to Cease Hypertension (DASH) is excessive in carbohydrates and low in fat and has been proven to scale back insulin resistance, irritation, and oxidative stress, in addition to enhance hormonal profiles.

The ketogenic weight loss plan (KD)

KD permits very restricted energy from carbohydrates, with 70% of energy equipped by fats. This results in excessive ketone ranges, primarily acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate.

Curiously, PCOS sufferers who devour a KD exhibit activated adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and silent mating kind data regulation 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1), each of that are usually noticed with calorie-deprived diets. These molecules are important for growing insulin sensitivity and enhancing glucose uptake.

KD causes weight reduction and reduces fats mass, each of which scale back insulin secretion after meals, restoring insulin sensitivity and bettering glucose tolerance. In PCOS, KD can scale back androgen ranges and normalize the ratio of luteinizing hormone (LH) to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Nonetheless, extra research are wanted to find out the affect of the KD over time.


The VLCKD has been proposed for treating refractory epilepsy, fatty liver, and weight problems in people with different diseases, in addition to morbid weight problems previous to bariatric surgical procedure. Earlier research have proven that VLCKD was simpler in decreasing weight, fats mass, waist circumference, and blood levels of cholesterol than different measures geared toward weight reduction.

This strategy improved many metabolic areas, together with physique weight and composition, normalization of serum glucose ranges, reversal of hyperinsulinemia, and correction of levels of cholesterol. The insulin resistance attribute of PCOD additionally disappeared in VLCKD adherents.

Even in lean ladies with PCOS, VLCKD helps reverse hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance. The burden loss and diminished fats mass related to VLCKD might restore vitamin D ranges to regular by selling its launch from fatty tissue. Nonetheless, knowledge from long-term VLCKD interventions for PCOS should not but obtainable.

What are the implications?

For a few years, ladies with PCOS have been suggested to lose 5%-10% of their physique mass to revive insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, as these elements are important for restoring metabolic regulation. Nonetheless, the optimum approaches to attain this aim have but been established.

The present examine means that the VLCKD might probably assist deal with PCOS in the long run because of its appreciable success in reaching weight reduction, bettering physique composition, and reversing insulin resistance. An vital caveat is that this weight loss plan have to be carried out beneath the steering and supervision of well being professionals.

It’s evident that the dietary strategy in treating PCOS is important, whether or not in controlling physique weight, IR, or treating related comorbidities by totally different methods. It appears important to proceed finishing up research that generate proof on which dietary sample is most indicated for managing this situation.”

Journal reference:

  • Barrea, L., Camajani, E., Cernea, S., et al. (2023). Ketogenic Weight-reduction plan as Medical Prescription in Girls with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Present Vitamin Reviews. doi:10.1007/s13668-023-00456-1.