Exercise reduces undesirable homocysteine in overweight women with PCOS
ARTICLE: Exercise decreases plasma total homocysteine in overweight young women with polycystic ovary syndrome, Randeva, HS et al, J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2002;87(10):4496-501
ARTICLE SUMMARY: Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have a clustering of cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity, blood fat abnormalities, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and hypertension. Exercise is reported to lower the incidence of cardiac events. The effect of exercise on homocysteine concentrations, an independent cardiovascular risk factor, has not been previously reported in women with PCOS.
The researchers examined the effects of exercise on plasma total homocysteine concentrations in young overweight or obese PCOS women. Twenty-one women consented to a 6-month exercise program; 12 women (exercisers) adhered to the program, whereas 9 (non-exercisers) did not. In both groups of women, the following parameters were recorded at baseline and 6 months: body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and aerobic capacity; blood samples were taken after an overnight fast for homocysteine, insulin, and other biochemical parameters.
A significant decrease in homocysteine concentrations and waist-to-hip ratio and a significant increase in maximal oxygen consumption were recorded at 6 months, compared with baseline in the exercise group. In contrast, no significant changes in any of the variables were observed in the non-exercise group.
This study provides the first evidence that regular exercise significantly lowers homocysteine in young overweight or obese women with PCOS, a group at increased risk of premature atherosclerosis.
DOCTOR’S COMMENTS: Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood. A normal amount is OK. But an elevated level means that your metabolic processes are not working properly. Elevated homocysteine is associated with coronary artery disease, heart attack, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cognitive impairment, and cervical cancer. Women with PCOS generally have higher levels of homocysteine as compared to non-PCOS women.
Some research has shown that women with high homocysteine levels are more likely to have a miscarriage or a pregnancy complication.
So it makes a lot of sense to maintain your exercise routine. Regular exercise also reduces insulin resistance, burns fat calories, improves your self-esteem, and greatly improves your overall health. [posted 3/4/03]