Effects of a Eucaloric Reduced-Carbohydrate Diet on Body Composition and Fat Distribution in Women With PCOS

Metabolism. 2014 Oct;63(10):1257-64. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2014.07.007. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

Abstract

Objective: To determine if consumption of a reduced-carbohydrate (CHO) diet would result in preferential loss of adipose tissue under eucaloric conditions, and whether changes in adiposity were associated with changes in postprandial insulin concentration.

Methods: In a crossover-diet intervention, 30 women with PCOS consumed a reduced-CHO diet (41:19:40% energy from CHO:protein:fat) for 8 weeks and a standard diet (55:18:27) for 8 weeks. Body composition by DXA and fat distribution by CT were assessed at baseline and following each diet phase. Insulin AUC was obtained from a solid meal test (SMT) during each diet phase.

Results: Participants lost 3.7% and 2.2% total fat following the reduced-CHO diet and STD diet, resp. (p<0.05 for difference between diets). The reduced-CHO diet induced a decrease in subcutaneous-abdominal, intra-abdominal, and thigh-intermuscular adipose tissue (-7.1%, -4.6%, and -11.5%, resp.), and the STD diet induced a decrease in total lean mass. Loss of fat mass following the reduced CHO diet arm was associated with lower insulin AUC (p<0.05) during the SMT.

Conclusions: In women with PCOS, consumption of a diet lower in CHO resulted in preferential loss of fat mass from metabolically harmful adipose depots, whereas a diet high in CHO appeared to promote repartitioning of lean mass to fat mass.

Keywords: Intra-abdominal adipose tissue; Macronutrient composition; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet, Reducing / methods
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Postprandial Period / physiology

Substances

  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin