Dietary and serum omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids linked to polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder with a potential to lead to various diseases. It also continues to be a common cause of infertility among women.
Although signs and symptoms vary, the three most common factors associated with polycystic ovary syndrome include ovulation irregularities, increased androgen levels, and cystic ovaries.
As per the literature review, the results of epidemiological studies involving omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are scarce. However, higher intakes of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids might be considered a protective factor for polycystic ovary syndrome among Chinese females, reports a recent study conducted at the Department of Gynecology, First Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu Medical College, China.
The research is published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Investigators Ling Lu and colleagues assessed the associations between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and polycystic ovary syndrome prevalence in 325 pairs of polycystic ovary syndrome cases and healthy controls.
Dietary information was assessed using a 102-item food frequency questionnaire. Fatty acids in serum phospholipids were measured with a gas chromatography method.
The results showed that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum phospholipids were inversely associated with polycystic ovary syndrome prevalence, including total, long-chain and individual polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)).
Compared to the lowest tertile (T1), the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the highest tertile (T3) were 0.63 (0.40, 0.93) for total omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, 0.60 (0.38, 0.92) for long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, 0.68 (0.45, 1.01) for docosahexaenoic acid, 0.70 (0.45, 1.05) for eicosapentaenoic acid and 0.72 (0.45, 1.08) for docosapentaenoic acid.
Furthermore, for dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, significant inverse associations were found only for long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (p trend = 0.001), eicosapentaenoic acid (p trend = 0.047) and docosahexaenoic acid (p trend = 0.030).
Both dietary and serum omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, mainly eicosapentaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid, were negatively correlated with polycystic ovary syndrome-related parameters, such as BMI, fasting insulin, total testosterone and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), but positively correlated with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
These results indicated inverse associations between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and polycystic ovary syndrome prevalence.
As a result, the authors concluded that higher the intakes of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids might be considered a protective factor for polycystic ovary syndrome among Chinese females.