Trendy zero-carb keto diet could boost millions of women’s chances of getting PREGNANT
- Ketogenic diet loved by celebs prioritizes eating healthy fats and avoiding carbs
- It fixes hormone imbalance in 10% of women with PCOS, a cause of infertility
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Going keto could boost millions of women’s chances of getting pregnant, a study suggests.
The ketogenic diet – which prioritizes eating healthy fats and avoiding carbs – has been hailed as a powerful weight loss and anti-inflammation tool.
Now researchers have found that it can also lower levels of testosterone in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), one of the leading causes of infertility that affects 6million women in the US and 2million in the UK.
Too much testosterone interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries, making it harder for women to get pregnant.
The ketogenic diet prioritizes eating healthy fats and avoiding carbs
The authors suggested doctors should consider the keto diet when faced with PCOS patients who are struggling to conceive.
Karniza Khalid, of the Ministry of Health Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which carried out the review, said: ‘We found an association between the ketogenic diet and an improvement in reproductive hormone levels, which influence fertility, in women with PCOS.
‘These findings have important clinical implications, especially for endocrinologists, gynecologists and dieticians who, in addition to medical treatment, should carefully plan and customize individual diet recommendations for women with PCOS.’
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of seven studies in women with PCOS on the keto diet.
They examined the diet’s effects on their weight and three reproductive hormones – testosterone, the female sex hormone progesterone, and follicle-stimulating hormone, which plays a role in reproduction in both males and females.
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Women with PCOS who were on the keto diet for at least 45 days lost on average 11 percent of their body weight and saw improvements to their hormonal balance.
Their follicle-stimulating hormone ratio was lower, which means they may have a better chance of ovulating. The women also had lower testosterone levels.
Fewer carbs in someone’s diet means fewer blood-sugar spikes, which have a knock-on effect on blood regulation and hormone production.
The controversial ketogenic plan is a low-carb diet that forces the body to produce ketones in the liver to be used as energy because
Meat, fish, poultry and eggs are all allowed, as are non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens. Dairy, organic, full-fat is recommended for keto diets.
It involves limiting added sugars and white, refined carbs and only a small amount of fruit is allowed.
Eating high carbs causes your body to produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source, it is believed.
Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body. Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored.
By lowering carb intake, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis, a natural process that helps us survive when food intake is low.
This makes us produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The goal of the keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state – essentially it’s a type of starvation but not of calories but carbohydrates.
However, experts say low-carb diets bring heart and cancer risks from eating too much fat and protein.
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