Is there a role for diet in ameliorating the reproductive sequelae associated with chronic low-grade inflammation in PCOS and obesity?

Emerging data support a role for chronic low-grade inflammation in the reproductive sequelae of polycystic ovary syndrome and obesity. Importantly, dietary intervention may, in part, ameliorate the inflammatory processes associated with these disorders and improve reproductive outcomes.

Like Comment

Volume 106, Issue 3, Pages 520-527


Joan K. Riley, Ph.D., Emily S. Jungheim, M.D., M.S.C.I.


A 2013 ASRM committee opinion titled “Optimizing natural fertility” stated that “there is little evidence that dietary variations such as vegetarian diets, low-fat diets, vitamin-enriched diets, antioxidants, or herbal remedies improve fertility ….” However, there are emerging epidemiologic data demonstrating that certain components of the diet may influence reproductive health outcomes. Furthermore, translational work with human specimens and animal models lends biologic plausibility to the epidemiologic data, particularly in the context of female reproductive diseases associated with inflammation, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity. How to best apply these data clinically for improved reproductive outcomes remains to be determined. In this review, we outline a role for chronic inflammation in the reproductive sequelae of PCOS and obesity and we summarize epidemiologic and translational work demonstrating a potential role for diet in the regulation of inflammatory processes associated with these disorders. These studies identify areas for future research and potential clinical intervention in women affected by the reproductive sequelae of PCOS and obesity.

Read the full text here.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.