Do you have a copy of "The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility"? If so, read Section 6 on "Fats and Oils" right now. It's really important that you have some understanding of how important fats and oils are so that you can grasp the true significance of this article.
Some exciting research was recently conducted by University College Dublin and other universities in Ireland. This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, which is the "gold standard" for medical studies.
They studied 104 women with PCOS, some of whom took supplemental long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. You can think of a "fatty acid" is molecule derived from fat.
(Fish oil is an example of a concentrated long-chain omega-3 fatty acid.)
The researchers discovered that supplemental omega-3 fats caused a drop in bioavailable testosterone concentrations in the women who were taking a supplement.
As you may know, too much testosterone is a primary reason why you have PCOS, acne, hair loss, and hirsutism.
Most of your testosterone is bound to a protein to make it not available. However, some testosterone is "free" or bioavailable to exert its influence on your bodily functions -- this is the testosterone that is causing problems for you. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduced this free, bioavailable -- and troublesome -- testosterone in this study.
The greatest testosterone reduction occurred in those women who had the highest ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. If you read Section 6 of the ebook, you know that there is a profound difference between these fatty acids.
The researchers also performed an experiment with ovarian cells from cows. When the cells were exposed to omega-6 fatty acids, the production of androstenedione was stimulated. Androstenedione is used in the body to create testosterone.
And finally, the research showed that women taking the supplemental omega-3 fatty acids reduced their heart disease risk.
Here are the takeaways from this research:
1) Increase the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids by consuming less omega-6 oils and consuming more omega-3 oils. I can't emphasize enough the importance of doing this. Most folks are way out of balance, with a huge predominance of omega-6 fatty acids in their diet. So it's no wonder you're having such troublesome health issues.
2) Reduce consumption of omega-6 fatty acids. Oils extracted from plant material are a primary source of omega-6s. Examples include corn, soy, sunflower, and safflower oils and foods containing such oils.
3) Increase consumption of omega-3 oils. They are found in fish and marine creatures. So you could eat more fish. They are also found in concentrated form in products such as cod liver oil and fish oil. Fish oil EPA/DHA capsules are by far the most concentrated form of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
4) There are two types of omega-3 oils, so don't get confused. Flax oil is termed an omega-3 oil, but is definitely not the same as fish oil.
The fatty acids in flax oil have to go through a series of metabolic steps inside your body before they become the omega-3 fatty acids that have the most desirable effect. The problem is that many PCOS women have defects in these required metabolic processes and thus not enough of the "final" omega-3 fatty acid is created.
In contrast, fish oil does not require any metabolic steps because it already contains the final, "ready-to-go" omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, fish or marine oils are likely to be much more effective.
Phelan N et al, Hormonal and metabolic effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome: results from a cross-sectional analysis and a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jan 26. [Epub ahead of print]
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