April 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Health Blog

Combined Lifestyle and Herbal Medicine in Overweight Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A Randomized Controlled Trial

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common, complex reproductive endocrinopathy characterized by menstrual irregularities, hyperandrogenism and polycystic ovaries.

Lifestyle modification is a first-line intervention; however, there are barriers to success for this form of self-care, and women often seek adjunct therapies including herbal medicines.

This pragmatic, randomized controlled trial, delivered in communities of Australia in overweight women with PCOS, compared the effectiveness and safety of a lifestyle intervention plus herbal medicine against lifestyle alone.

All participants were helped to construct a personalized lifestyle plan. The herbal intervention consisted of two tablets.

Tablet 1 contained Cinnamomum verumGlycyrrhiza glabraHypericum perforatum and Paeonia lactiflora. Tablet 2 contained Tribulus terrestris.

[It should be noted that this combination can now be prescribed by naturopaths and herbalists but the results cannot be replicated by eating licorice confectionery or by adding cinnamon to your food. The Cinnamomum verum used in the trial was not the common cinnamon sold as a spice, or in many over-the-counter herbal tablets and the licorice was the herbal medicine Glycyrrhiza glabra, not the confectionery and not the licorice found in over-the-counter herbal formulas].

The primary outcome was oligomenorrhoea/amenorrhoea. Secondary outcomes were hormones; anthropometry; quality of life; depression, anxiety and stress; pregnancy; birth outcomes; and safety. One hundred and twenty-two women gave their consent.

At 3 months, women in the combination group recorded a reduction in oligomenorrhoea of 32.9% (95% confidence interval 23.3–42.6, p < 0.01) compared with controls, estimated as a large effect (?p2 = 0.11).

Other significant improvements were found for body mass index (p < 0.01); insulin (p = 0.02) and luteinizing hormone (p = 0.04); blood pressure (p = 0.01); quality of life (p < 0.01); depression, anxiety and stress (p < 0.01); and pregnancy rates (p = 0.01).

An interesting but not surprising result of the study was that conception rates were significantly higher for women taking herbal medicine plus lifestyle changes compared with controls (RR 3.9, 95% CI 1.1 to 13.1, p = 0.01). Medically assisted reproduction was not used by any participants during the trial.

This trial provides evidence of improved effectiveness and safety for lifestyle intervention when combined with herbal medicines in women with PCOS.

You can read the research here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.5858/full

If you wish to receive informed advice on PCOS and naturopathic health care for your individual requirements please consult me for personal advice. I consult via phone, skype and in-person by appointment.*

If you know someone who you think may benefit from this information, please share this article with them.

Yours in Great Health, 

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher & Counsellor 

Sar has advanced qualifications in the health sciences and naturopathic medicine and is an accomplished lecturer, practitioner & counsellor with 24 years clinical experience.

Specializing in Anxiety & Depression | Women’s Health | Chronic Fatigue |  Hormonal Imbalances | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Autoimmune Disease| Genetic Polymorphisms & Nutrigenomics | Nutritional Medicine | Counselling | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention with a Clinical Focus on Identifying & Resolving the Underlying Causes of Symptoms and Disease.  

Earth Medicine TM

Web:   www.EarthMedicine.com

Email: [email protected]

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Science-Based Naturopathic Health Care to help you achieve optimal wellness, calm and contented mental health, high vitality and disease prevention with personalised naturopathic health care, specialized clinical pathology testing and high-quality naturopathic medicines. Professional counselling services are also available.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment.

*Due to time limitations, consultations are only offered to Australian residents.


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