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Omega-3 fatty acids also beneficial for polycystic ovary syndrome.

In a cross-sectional study of 104 women (mean age, 28.3 years) with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), greater plasma omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) concentrations and greater omega-6:omega-3 PUFA ratios were associated with higher circulating androgen levels. Twenty-two women with PCOS were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, 4 g per day of an omega-3 fatty acid supplement or placebo (olive oil) for 6 weeks. After a 6-week washout period, each woman received the alternate treatment for an additional 6 weeks. The omega-3 fatty acid supplement provided 1.9 g per day of EPA + DHA in a ratio of 1.49:1 (EPA:DHA). Compared with placebo, active treatment reduced the mean serum concentration of bioavailable testosterone by 25% (p < 0.05). In bovine theca cells, arachidonic acid modulated androstenedione secretion, which suggests an indirect effect of omega-3 fatty acids through the displacement of, or increased competition with, omega-6 fatty acids.

Comment: Omega-3 fatty acids can now be added to the fist (see above) of dietary modifications and nutritional supplements that may be of value for women with PCOS. The dosage of omega-3 fatty acids used in this study would be equivalent to about 6 g per day of fish oil.

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 I Clin Nutr. 2011;93:652-662.

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Title Annotation:Literature Review & Commentary
Author:Gaby, Alan R.
Publication:Townsend Letter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2012
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