Effect of aerobic exercise on inflammatory markers in polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2022 May;26(10):3506-3513. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202205_28845.


Objective: Chronic low-grade inflammation has emerged as a key contributor to the pathogenesis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). In this regard, the present study examined the potential effects of aerobic exercise on interleukin-6 (IL6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and C-reactive protein (CRP) in PCOS women.

Patients and methods: This was a randomized clinical trial that included 40 females aged 25-35 years diagnosed with PCOS. The participants were divided into two groups equal in number: the aerobic exercise group (AEM), and the metformin group (M). The AEM group performed aerobic exercise three times a week for 12 weeks in addition to metformin treatment. The M group received metformin only. Participants were assessed for IL-6, TNF-α, and CRP at baseline and after 12 weeks of intervention.

Results: The findings showed a significant reduction in IL-6, TNF-α, and CRP values in both AEM and M groups (p=0.001, p=0.01, respectively) after the end of the 12 weeks of the intervention. However, the participants who received aerobic exercise plus metformin, group AEM, showed a greater reduction in IL-6, TNF-α, and CRP (p=0.01, p = 0.01 and p=0.001, respectively).

Conclusions: Aerobic exercise is effective in lowering IL-6, TNF-α, and CRP in polycystic ovarian women. Further clinical trials are recommended to assess the potential effects of aerobic exercise on PCOS-associated risk factors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Metformin* / therapeutic use
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / therapy
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Metformin