Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Meal timing can significantly improve fertility in women with polycystic ovaries

Date:
August 13, 2013
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
A common disorder that impairs fertility by producing an overabundance of insulin may be naturally treatable through meal timing. Research indicates that an increased caloric intake at breakfast can lead to lower levels of testosterone and a dramatic increase in ovulation frequency.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder that impairs fertility by impacting menstruation, ovulation, hormones, and more, is closely related to insulin levels. Women with the disorder are typically "insulin resistant" -- their bodies produce an overabundance of insulin to deliver glucose from the blood into the muscles. The excess makes its way to the ovaries, where it stimulates the production of testosterone, thereby impairing fertility.

Related Articles


Now Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Diabetes Unit at Wolfson Medical Center has found a natural way to help women of normal weight who suffer from PCOS manage their glucose and insulin levels to improve overall fertility. And she says it's all in the timing.

The goal of her maintenance meal plan, based on the body's 24 hour metabolic cycle, is not weight loss but insulin management. Women with PCOS who increased their calorie intake at breakfast, including high protein and carbohydrate content, and reduced their calorie intake through the rest of the day, saw a reduction in insulin resistance. This led to lower levels of testosterone and dramatic increase in the ovulation frequency -- measures that have a direct impact on fertility, notes Prof. Jakubowicz.

The research has been published in Clinical Science and was recently presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in June. It was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Julio Wainstein of TAU and Wolfson Medical Center and Dr. Maayan Barnea and Prof. Oren Froy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Managing insulin to increase ovulation

Many of the treatment options for PCOS are exclusively for obese women, Prof. Jakubowicz explains. Doctors often suggest weight loss to manage insulin levels, or prescribe medications that are used to improve the insulin levels of overweight patients. But many women who suffer from PCOS maintain a normal weight -- and they are looking for ways to improve their chances of conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby.

In a recent study, Prof. Jakubowicz and her fellow researchers confirmed that a low-calorie weight-loss plan focusing on larger breakfasts and smaller dinners also lowers insulin, glucose, and triglycerides levels. This finding inspired them to test whether a similar meal plan could be an effective therapeutic option for women with PCOS.

Sixty women suffering from PCOS with a normal body mass index (BMI) were randomly assigned to one of two 1,800 calorie maintenance diets with identical foods. The first group ate a 983 calorie breakfast, a 645 calorie lunch, and a 190 calorie dinner. The second group had a 190 calorie breakfast, a 645 calorie lunch, and 983 calorie dinner. After 90 days, the researchers tested participants in each group for insulin, glucose, and testosterone levels as well as ovulation and menstruation.

As expected, neither group experienced a change in BMI, but other measures differed dramatically. While participants in the "big dinner" group maintained consistently high levels of insulin and testosterone throughout the study, those in the "big breakfast" group experienced a 56 percent decrease in insulin resistance and a 50 percent decrease in testosterone. This reduction of insulin and testosterone levels led to a 50 percent rise in ovulation rate, indicated by a rise in progesterone, by the end of the study.

A natural therapy

According to Prof. Jakubowicz, these results suggest that meal timing -- specifically a meal plan that calls for the majority of daily calories to be consumed at breakfast and a reduction of calories throughout the day -- could help women with PCOS manage their condition naturally, providing new hope for those who have found no solutions to their fertility issues, she says. PCOS not only inhibits natural fertilization, but impacts the effectiveness of in vitro fertilization treatments and increases the rate of miscarriage.

And beyond matters of fertility, this method could mitigate other symptoms associated with the disorder, including unwanted body hair, oily hair, hair loss, and acne. Moreover, it could protect against developing type-2 diabetes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniela Jakubowicz, Maayan Barnea, Julio Wainstein, Oren Froy. Effects of caloric intake timing on insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism in lean women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Clinical Science, 2013; 125 (9): 423 DOI: 10.1042/CS20130071

Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Meal timing can significantly improve fertility in women with polycystic ovaries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813121626.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2013, August 13). Meal timing can significantly improve fertility in women with polycystic ovaries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813121626.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Meal timing can significantly improve fertility in women with polycystic ovaries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813121626.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins