PCOS Review Newsletter #75
A free health newsletter for women with polycystic ovary syndrome or polycystic ovaries.
Issue #075 February 18, 2009 Bill Slater, Research Associate
1) The Right Diet Reduces PCOS Problems
It's well known that excessive male hormones such as testosterone lead to acne, hirsutism, infertility and possibly to coronary heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
A review of the medical literature on diet and PCOS was released this month by Eastern Michigan University.
The researchers reported that male hormones can be reduced by consuming a certain kind of diet. Here are a few highlights from the diet that can reduce symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, according to this report.
1) The diet should include an increase in fiber and a decrease in refined carbohydrates.
Note that the recommended diet in The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility book is high in fiber and has NO refined carbohydrates.
2) The diet should include a decrease in trans and saturated fats and an increase in omega-3 and omega-9 fats.
The recommended diet in our book has NO trans fats, is moderate in saturated fats, and is high in the omega-3 and omega-9 fats.
3) The diet should include foods that contain anti-inflammatory compounds.
Our recommended diet is very high in foods that are anti-inflammatory.
There's really no longer any debate that proper diet plays a very beneficial role in managing PCOS.
Liepa GU et al, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other androgen excess-related conditions: can changes in dietary intake make a difference?, Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Feb;23(1):63-71
2) PCOS Linked to Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Did you know that women with PCOS are more than three times as likely to develop fibrocystic breast disease, according to a new study?
Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition where both breasts become tender or painful, and lumpy. The roundish lumps can be soft or firm, move freely within the breast tissue and are tender to the touch. The intensity of symptoms may vary with the menstrual cycle.
Fibrocystic breast disease has been linked to excess estrogen and prolactin. Women with PCOS also often tend to have elevated estrogen and prolactin.
Standard treatment is pain relievers or possibly birth control pills. But there's more that you can do.
1) Consume more omega-3 fats, which are found mainly in fish or fish oil. A new medical study from Oregon Health and Science University has shown that women who consume the most omega-3 fats were 67% less likely to have fibrocystic breasts and 49% less likely to have breast cancer.
The authors conclude, "Our results support a protective effect of omega-3 fatty acid intake against benign fibrocystic breast changes and the progression of proliferative changes to breast cancer."
2) The herb vitex may help to relieve fibrocystic breast disease since it promotes a better balance between estrogen and progesterone.
3) Avoid caffeine and reduce trans and saturated fat intake.
4) Eat a high-fiber diet, with an emphasis on plant-based foods.
5) Stay away from a diet high in refined "convenience" foods, which can worsen the condition.
6) Regular exercise is also helpful.
In other words, a diet that is good for PCOS is also good for dealing with or preventing fibrocystic breast disease.
Gumus II et al, Polycystic ovary syndrome and fibrocystic breast disease: is there any association?, Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2009 Jan 3. [Epub ahead of print]
Shannon J et al, Erythrocyte fatty acids and risk of proliferative and nonproliferative fibrocystic disease in women in Shanghai, China., Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):265-76
3) Activate the Greatness within You
There's an ancient saying: "If you master yourself, you can master anything." It's a good reminder that ultimately our attitude and our mindset determine our success in life. It's not about the outside world. The outside world is always going to present challenges.
Yes, these are difficult times for many of us. So we need to focus on maintaining a positive attitude and avoiding a victim mentality.
We must choose to be proactive in life, and not let life happen to us. We must be driven by our values and goals, not by outside circumstances.
You do not have to be a victim of circumstance. You make your own environment because you are the creator of your life through your thoughts and actions. Your greatness comes from within, so start today to capitalize on your own talents and potential. Your actions will determine the outcome of PCOS, fertility issues, weight loss, self-esteem, relationships, financial security you name it!
The emphasis in all of our lives should be on developing vision, to see beyond the current situation, to develop mental control over our emotions, feel our own power, and assume responsibility for our future.
Thought for Today: "Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different." -- Kathleen Mansfield Murray
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