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Evaluating compliance to a low glycaemic index (GI) diet in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Nicola Egan1, Anna Read2, Paddy Riley3 and William Atiomo4*

Author Affiliations

1 Nottingham Medical school, University of Nottingham D Floor, East Block, Queens Medical Centre Campus Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK

2 Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Queens Medical Centre Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK

3 School of Clinical Sciences, University of Nottingham D Floor, East Block, Queens Medical Centre Campus Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK

4 Division of Human Development, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Nottingham D Floor, East Block, Queens Medical Centre Campus Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:53  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-53

Published: 8 March 2011

Abstract

Background

A low Glycaemic Index (GI) diet may decrease some long-term health risks in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) such as endometrial cancer. This study was performed to assess compliance to a low GI diet in women with PCOS. Food diaries prospectively collected over 6 months from women on a low GI diet or healthy eating diet were analysed retrospectively. The women were recruited for a pilot randomised control trial investigating whether a low GI diet decreased the risk of Endometrial Cancer. Nine women with PCOS completed 33 food diaries (17 from women on a low GI diet and 16 from women on a healthy eating diet) recording 3023 food items (low GI group:n = 1457; healthy eating group:n = 1566). Data was analysed using Foster-Powell international values inserted into an SPSS database as no scientifically valid established nutrition software was found. The main outcome measures were mean item GI and Glyacemic Load (GL), mean meal GL, percentage high GI foods and mean weight loss.

Findings

Women allocated the low GI diet had a statistically significant lower GI of food items (33.67 vs 36.91, p < 0.05), lower percentage of high GI foods (4.3% vs 12.1%, p < 0.05) and lower GL of food items and meals.

Conclusion

Women with PCOS on a low GI diet consumed food items with a significantly lower mean GI and GL compared to the healthy eating diet group. Longer term compliance needs evaluation in subsequent studies to ascertain that this translates to reduced long term health risks.

Trial Registration

ISRCTN: ISRCTN86420258