Hormone linked to PCOS and infertility

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As many as 10% of childbearing aged women have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS. It is the most common hormonal disorder of women in that age range and is the most common cause of infertility, and an important risk factor for early diabetes.

According to a study conducted at the Center for Androgen-Related Research and Discovery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, fat tissue in women with PCOS produces a reduced amount of the hormone, adiponectin, which regulates how fats and glucose are processed in the body. This results in increased insulin resistance and inflammation, glucose intolerance, and greater risk of diabetes and heart disease.

“We’re beginning to find that fat tissue behaves very differently in patients with PCOS than in other women,” said Ricardo Azziz, MD, director of the Center for Androgen -Related Research and Discovery, and principal investigator on the study. “Identifying the unusual behavior of this fat-produced hormone is an important step to better understanding the causes underlying the disorder. And may be helpful in developing treatments that will protect patients against developing heart disease and insulin resistance.”

Fat tissue is the body’s largest hormone-producing organ. Fat tissue secretes a large number of hormones that affect appetite, bowel function, brain function, and fat and sugar metabolism. The hormone adiponectin encourages the proper action of insulin on fats and sugars and reduces inflammation when produced in adequate amounts. Women with PCOS have a diminished production of adiponectin when compared to other women who do not have the disease.

PCOS can cause symptoms such as irregular ovulation and menstruation, infertility, excess male hormones, excess male-like hair growth and polycystic ovaries. About two-thirds of women with PCOS have insulin resistance which is an impairment of the effectiveness of the hormone insulin. Insulin regulates the body’s use of fats and sugars, and can result in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Source: Medical News Today, Cedars-Sinai


 
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