The Effect on Inflammation of Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Curr Nutr Rep. 2023 Mar;12(1):191-202. doi: 10.1007/s13668-023-00451-6. Epub 2023 Jan 31.


Purpose of review: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is common in women of reproductive age worldwide, is a syndrome that reduces the lifelong quality of life and poses a significant risk for various diseases. PCOS is a combination of symptoms of hyperandrogenism, oligo-anovulation, and polycystic ovarian morphology (PCOM). In PCOS, which is characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation, some inflammatory cytokines are increased. This review aimed to explain possible mechanisms of inflammation in PCOS and the effects of Mediterranean diet components on reducing this inflammation.

Recent findings: Although the exact mechanisms of inflammation in PCOS are not yet fully known, it is stated that it is mediated by obesity, insulin resistance, and high androgen concentration. This inflammatory state negatively impacts the risk of future health problems and the quality of life of PCOS. Therefore, strategies to reduce inflammation are thought to be important. Dietary adjustments have important effects in reducing this inflammation and preventing disease. At this point, the Mediterranean diet, which has been proven to have a protective effect against many diseases, draws attention. Among the components of the Mediterranean diet, especially omega-3, antioxidants and dietary fiber may contribute to the reduction of inflammation through different mechanisms. PCOS is characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation, which increases women's risk of health problems, both now and in the future. Reducing inflammation is therefore extremely important, and it can be achieved with adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Inflammation pathways and the effect of the components of the Mediterranean diet in PCOS. AGE, advanced glycation end products; NF-κB, nuclear factor kappa-B. Obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperandrogenism may cause inflammation in PCOS through different mechanisms. Antioxidants, omega-3, and dietary fiber, which are the main components of the Mediterranean diet, may be effective in reducing this inflammation in PCOS. (Created with

Keywords: Antioxidant; Dietary fiber; Inflammation, Mediterranean diet; Omega-3; Polycystic ovary syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism* / metabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Obesity
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / metabolism
  • Quality of Life


  • Dietary Fiber