Diet and lifestyle modifications for effective management of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

J Food Biochem. 2022 Jul;46(7):e14117. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.14117. Epub 2022 Feb 24.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is caused by abnormal production of androgens resulting in the formation of small fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries. This condition worsens the life quality of women by disturbing their physiology and psychology in reproductive age. PCOS may also be associated with other morbidities like diabetes and hypertension. Numerous factors like imbalanced dietary patterns, poor lifestyle activities, improper care and medication, late diagnosis, and ignorance are involved in the prevalence of this disease in women. Hence, an early diagnosis and improved dietary and lifestyle management may improve the life quality and timely recovery of the patient from this disease. Various herbal extracts show a positive correlation in reducing the indicators associated with PCOS. This review discusses the effect of dietary and lifestyle practices on PCOS as prominent features. It has been recommended that a balanced diet with 40% energy from carbohydrates, 30% from fats, and 30% from protein with optimum physical activity could reduce severe PCOS symptoms and improve metabolic balance. Furthermore, recommendations for modification of diet and lifestyle activities are made which may positively influence the recovery from PCOS. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) severely affects the life quality of suffering women. The dietary patterns, lifestyle activities, and co-medical conditions collectively affect the severity and related consequences of PCOS. This article provides sufficient information on dietary and lifestyle modifications to effectively manage this disease. Furthermore, dietitians, nutritionists, gynecologists, and obstetrics physicians can benefit from the information provided in it to understand and develop the management strategies to alleviate the disease symptoms and severity.

Keywords: androgens; cysts; dietary therapy; lifestyle management; polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy