Diet and nutrition in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): pointers for nutritional management

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Nov;27(8):762-73. doi: 10.1080/01443610701667338.


PCOS patients are not always markedly overweight but PCOS is strongly associated with abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. Effective approaches to nutrition and exercise improve endocrine features, reproductive function and cardiometabolic risk profile--even without marked weight loss. Recent studies allow us to make recommendations on macronutrient intake. Fat should be restricted to < or =30% of total calories with a low proportion of saturated fat. High intake of low GI carbohydrate contributes to dyslipidaemia and weight gain and also stimulates hunger and carbohydrate craving. Diet and exercise need to be tailored to the individual's needs and preferences. Calorie intake should be distributed between several meals per day with low intake from snacks and drinks. Use of drugs to either improve insulin sensitivity or to promote weight loss are justified as a short-term measure, and are most likely to be beneficial when used early in combination with diet and exercise.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins