Exercise Added to Hypocaloric Diet Improves Body Composition in PCOS

Reuters Health
Nov. 3, 2008

The addition of aerobic or combined aerobic-resistance exercise to a hypocaloric diet results in improvements in body composition for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to a report in the September issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The authors note that lifestyle modification — primarily diet and exercise — “is considered the preferred first-line treatment for PCOS,” aimed at normalizing androgens and restoring reproductive function.
Dr. Rebecca L. Thomson from the University of South Australia, Adelaide, and colleagues assessed the additive benefit of aerobic or aerobic-resistance exercise training, when combined with a moderate hypocaloric weight-loss diet, on body composition, cardiometabolic and hormonal profiles, and reproductive function in 104 sedentary overweight and obese women with PCOS.

fter 20 weeks, the overall mean weight loss and waist circumference reductions did not differ significantly among the three treatment groups (diet only, diet plus aerobics, and diet plus aerobics-resistance), the team reports.

However, the exercise groups experienced 45% greater reduction in fat mass and 60% less reduction in fat-free mass than did the diet-only group, the report indicates. The exercise groups also maintained greater fat-free mass from week 10 to week 20 despite significant continued weight loss. Cardiometabolic and hormonal outcomes improved in all three groups, without significant differences among them.

Improvements in menstrual cyclicity and ovulation were similar for the three groups, but women in the diet-plus-aerobics group reported a greater number of ovulatory cycles than did those in the diet-only group.

Women who experienced improvements in reproductive function had greater reductions in weight, fat mass, abdominal fat mass, and waist circumference than did women who did not have improvements in reproductive function.
“Thus,” Dr. Thomson and colleagues conclude, “lifestyle modifications that combine energy restriction for weight loss and regular exercise would appear to be a preferred treatment strategy in overweight women with PCOS.”

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2008;93:3373-3380.
Soulcysters.net


Next Steps

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