Yesterday we reported on how new research has shown for the first time that the heart-damaging amino acid called homocysteine is reduced in overweight young PCOS women when they exercise regularly.
A normal amount of homocysteine is healthy. But an elevated level means that your metabolic processes are not working properly and it can lead to premature atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), especially in connection with PCOS.
Elevated homocysteine is also associated with heart attacks, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cognitive impairment and cervical cancer. Women with PCOS generally have higher levels of homocysteine compared to females without the condition.
Too much homocysteine is particularly bad news for women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome because they usually also have a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors, such as excess weight, blood fat abnormalities, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and high blood pressure (hypertension).
Researchers examined the effects of exercise on homocysteine concentrations in young, overweight or obese PCOS women. Twenty-one women undertook a six-month program, with 12 following an ab exercise regime. The others did not.
The exercisers showed a significant decrease in homocysteine concentrations and waist-to-hip ratio and a significant increase in oxygen consumption, compared to the non-exercisers.