Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Insulin-Resistant Adolescents with Obesity: The Role of Nutrition Therapy and Food Supplements as a Strategy to Protect Fertility

Valeria Calcaterra, Elvira Verduci, Hellas Cena, Vittoria Carlotta Magenes, Carolina Federica Todisco, Elisavietta Tenuta, Cristina Gregorio, Rachele De Giuseppe, Alessandra Bosetti, Elisabetta Di Profio, Gianvincenzo Zuccotti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in young reproductive-aged women. PCOS is often associated with obesity and impairs reproductive health. Even though several theories have been proposed to explain the pathogenic mechanism of PCOS, the role of insulin resistance (IR) as a key etiological component, independently of (but amplified by) obesity, is well recognized. The consequent hyperinsulinemia activates excessive ovarian androgen production, leading to PCOS. Additionally, the state of chronic inflammation related to obesity impacts ovarian physiology due to insulin sensitivity impairment. The first-line treatment for adolescents with obesity and PCOS includes lifestyle changes; personalized dietary interventions; and, when needed, weight loss. Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) and the use of specific food supplements in these patients aim at improving symptoms and signs, including insulin resistance and metabolic and reproductive functions. The purpose of this narrative review is to present and discuss PCOS in adolescents with obesity, its relationship with IR and the role of MNT and food supplements in treatment. Appropriate early dietary intervention for the management of adolescents with obesity and PCOS should be considered as the recommended approach to restore ovulation and to protect fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1848
Number of pages32
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Nutrition Therapy
  • Pediatric Obesity/complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/complications

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