February 21, 2024

Ketogenic Diet Found to Enhance IVF Success in Women with PCOS

A recent study published in the journal Nutrients has revealed the positive impact of a ketogenic diet on the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and a high body mass.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects females, disrupting ovulation and increasing the risk of anovulatory infertility. PCOS is also associated with metabolic dysfunction and a higher risk of conditions such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.

Having a high body mass reduces the efficacy of assisted reproduction technologies like IVF. A high body mass index (BMI) is associated with adverse effects during IVF, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), making ovulation induction more difficult.

The study focused on interventions that aimed to reduce body mass in women with PCOS-related infertility who were undergoing IVF. Two dietary interventions were investigated: the Mediterranean diet (MD) and a very low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD).

The study involved 84 PCOS patients who were either overweight or obese. The participants were divided into two groups, with one group following the VLCKD and the other group following the MD. Changes in weight, hormonal profile, and metabolic thresholds were examined.

The results showed that patients on the VLCKD experienced significant weight loss compared to those on the MD. Measurements of body circumference, including hip and waist measurements, also decreased significantly in the VLCKD group. The VLCKD group exhibited greater reductions in hip, abdominal, and waist circumference measurements compared to the MD group.

Metabolic health, as measured by the HOMA index, improved more significantly in the VLCKD group compared to the MD group. Cholesterol levels and antral follicle count, a risk factor for OHSS, also improved in both groups, but to a greater extent in the VLCKD group. Levels of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and androgens decreased in both groups, with a greater reduction observed in the VLCKD group. The FSH/LH ratio also improved in both groups.

Menstrual cycles became more regular in a higher percentage of women in the VLCKD group compared to the MD group. The VLCKD group also had a lower rate of new OHSS cases compared to the MD group.

The study indicates that both the VLCKD and MD indirectly improve body composition and reproductive outcomes in women with PCOS-related infertility undergoing IVF. The VLCKD may have a greater impact on metabolism, promoting muscle metabolism, fat loss, and better ovarian function.

The findings of the study suggest that adopting a ketogenic or Mediterranean diet can have significant benefits for women with PCOS and a high body mass who are undergoing IVF. These diets can improve fertility, enhance IVF success rates, and improve long-term health outcomes by mitigating metabolic dysfunction.

Further research is needed to directly measure changes in muscle mass and fat mass in individuals following these dietary interventions. Nevertheless, the study provides promising evidence for the use of a ketogenic diet in improving reproductive health and IVF outcomes in women with PCOS.


1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it