‘Trendy zero-carb keto diet’ may enhance fertility in women.

Ketogenic Diet: A Celeb-Loved Approach to Health

The ketogenic diet, a dietary regimen favored by celebrities for its emphasis on healthy fats and carb avoidance, is gaining recognition for its potential benefits in addressing hormone imbalances, particularly in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of infertility.

A Solution for PCOS-Related Infertility

Recent research suggests that adopting a ketogenic diet may significantly improve the chances of conception for millions of women. PCOS, affecting around 6 million women in the US and 2 million in the UK, is characterized by elevated testosterone levels, which can hinder egg growth and release, making pregnancy challenging. The study’s findings indicate that the ketogenic diet can help lower testosterone levels in women with PCOS, potentially enhancing their fertility.

Recommendation for Doctors and Dieticians

Karniza Khalid, from the Ministry of Health in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, led the study, which examined the diet’s effects on PCOS patients. She suggests that doctors, gynecologists, and dieticians should consider incorporating the ketogenic diet into treatment plans for women with PCOS who are struggling to conceive. Khalid notes the significance of these findings, especially in terms of reproductive hormone levels, which directly impact fertility.

Positive Outcomes from a Ketogenic Lifestyle

The study conducted a meta-analysis of seven research studies involving women with PCOS who followed the ketogenic diet. It assessed their weight changes and the impact on three key reproductive hormones: testosterone, progesterone, and follicle-stimulating hormone.

The results were promising. Women with PCOS who adhered to the ketogenic diet for at least 45 days experienced an average weight loss of 11 percent and demonstrated improvements in hormonal balance. Their follicle-stimulating hormone ratio decreased, potentially indicating an enhanced likelihood of ovulation, while their testosterone levels also decreased.

The Science Behind Ketosis

The ketogenic diet is characterized by its low-carb approach, prompting the body to produce ketones in the liver for energy. It permits the consumption of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, leafy greens, and full-fat dairy. The diet involves limiting added sugars, refined carbs, and fruit intake.

By reducing carb consumption, the body enters a state called ketosis, wherein it produces ketones from the breakdown of fats in the liver, serving as an alternate energy source when food intake is limited. The primary objective of the keto diet is to induce this metabolic state, which effectively mimics a state of starvation but focuses on carbohydrate restriction rather than calorie reduction.

Balancing Benefits with Risks

While the ketogenic diet has gained popularity for its potential health benefits, experts caution against its long-term use. Low-carb diets, including keto, may raise concerns about excessive fat and protein intake, potentially increasing the risk of heart and cancer-related issues. It is advisable to approach such dietary changes with caution and seek professional guidance when considering a ketogenic lifestyle.

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