During World War Two, British night-fighter pilots used to be fed extra rations of carrots in the belief that the vegetable improved their vision and so increased their ability to shoot down enemy aircraft in the dark. There's no evidence that the R.A.F. pilots' diet actually helped them to see any better at night. But it is a fact that carrots can aid healthy vision as well as protecting the heart and immune system. PCOS Nutritionists have long recommended a diet rich in some fruits and vegetables with deep colors because they contain an abundance of nutrients called carotenoids. One such nutrient is beta carotene, a yellow-orange carotenoid found in many vegetables like carrots and fruits and dark green leafy vegetables. The deep color of plant foods means they are rich in beta carotene, which is converted in the body to vitamin A, or retinol. Vitamin A is vital for healthy eyes and skin. Beta carotene also contributes to strong teeth, plus healthy hair and a well-functioning reproductive system. In addition to its role as a catalyst for vitamin A, beta carotene functions as an anti-oxidant, helping to eliminate free radicals that may attack the body's immune system, causing cardiovascular disease and encouraging tumor growth. Foods high in beta carotene and low in carbohydrates also include pumpkin and bell peppers. Other good sources are vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, leaf lettuce and broccoli. Those with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome may be tempted to take beta carotene in pill form, thinking it offers more powerful protection than its natural counterpart. But many studies have shown that beta carotene supplements don't offer the same health protection and often contain such high amounts of beta carotene that it competes with the absorption of other carotenoids, disrupting the balance of nutrients in the body. A nutritious diet is a crucial factor along with regular exercise in helping to reverse Insulin Resistance, an imbalance in blood glucose and insulin which often underlies excess weight and obesity. Being overweight or obese can lead to a number of disorders, including the cluster of increased risks for cardiovascular disease called Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X).
Being overweight, which is closely linked with PCOS, brings with it the risk of having oxygen-starved fat cells, according to research. Like all cells, the fat variety need oxygen to function. The more you have and the bigger they are, the more oxygen you need. The trouble is, if you are weighted down by too much fat, the less likely you to be physically active and thus breathe in enough oxygen. As a result, your fats go into a state of distress called adipose tissue hypoxia or ATH. This condition produces substances that create heart-damaging inflammation which throws your hormones out of balance. For example, it can result in a condition called "leptin resistance," which may affect PCOS problems like fertility and appetite control. There are two things you can to fight back against ATH. Firstly, absorb more oxygen into your body with regular exercise. The more active you are, the more oxygen gets to your fat cells. This is one reason why physical activity and regular exercise is so very important for getting good health results. Second, you can reduce calories in your diet. Every calorie you consume has to be processed by your body. In order to process that calorie, oxygen is required. The more calories you consume, the more oxygen you need. So if you reduce the caloric load in your diet, you also reduce your oxygen requirements. But remember that all calories are not created equal and that there are good and bad ones. A bad calorie is one that has little or no nutrition associated with it. For example, soft drinks are all bad calories. Vegetables are all good calories.
Drugs used in IVF for older women to boost their chances of becoming pregnant may increase their risk of having a baby with Down's Syndrome, according to new research. Doctors already know that the chance of having a baby with the genetic condition goes up with the age of the mother, especially for those over 35. Now UK researchers believe drugs used to kick-start ovaries for IVF in older women disturb the genetic material of the eggs. Further research is now needed to confirm their suspicions. And the researchers do not yet know the true magnitude of risk. But they do say it could also cause many other genetic conditions besides Down's. The findings, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology's annual conference, came from a UK study of 34 couples undergoing fertility treatment. All of the women in the group were older than 31 and had been given drugs to make their ovaries release eggs ready for their IVF treatment. When the researchers studied these now-fertilised eggs, they found some had genetic errors. These errors could either cause the pregnancy to fail or mean the baby would be born with a genetic disease. A closer look at 100 of the faulty eggs revealed that many of the errors involved a duplication of coiled genetic material, known chromosomes. Often, the error resulted in an extra copy of chromosome 21, which causes Down's Syndrome. But unlike "classic" Down's Syndrome, which is often seen in the babies of older women who conceive naturally, the pattern of genetic errors leading to Down's in the IVF eggs was different and more complex. And this led the researchers to believe that it was the fertility treatment that was to blame. Risk of Down's Syndrome with mother's age: 20 years - 1 in 1,500 25 years - 1 in 1,300 35 years - 1 in 350 40 years - 1 in 100 45 years - 1 in 30 Even with PCOS, there are natural solutions that will help you successfully conceive and grow your family. We have helped many women become pregnant just by eating healthily, exercising and taking our nutraceuticals system. Whatever you plan to do, make sure you're making the best choice for your long-term health.
Women who carry mutated forms of breast cancer genes called BRCA 1 and 2 account for at least 5% of breast cancer cases in the U.S. They are also at greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. A survey suggests the risk in young women may be reduced by reversing symptoms related to the condition called insulin resistance, which is often an underlying cause of PCOS. An international team of scientists found that women between 18 and 30 who carry BRCA 1 and 2 can significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by losing weight. Research showed that women who lost at least 10 lbs between those ages reduced their risk of cancer by up to 65%. But the survey also produced evidence that gaining 10 lbs in the same age group increased the women's risk of developing cancer before the age of 40. Being overweight after the menopause was already known to increase the risk of women of developing the disease. But authors of the new study say it is the first to link the weight of women of reproductive age with cancer. Researchers from the U.S., Canada and Poland, looked at more than 2,000 women carrying faulty or mutated BRCA1 or 2 breast cancer genes. BRCA 1 and 2 are tumor suppressor genes that, when functioning normally, help repair damage to DNA in a process that also prevents tumor development. In 1994, researchers discovered that women who carry BRCA 1 or 2 mutations are at higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer than women who do not have these genetic mutations. The women in the new study were tested for BRCA1 and 2 genes and questioned about their weight at ages 18, 30 and 40. It was found that women carrying the BRCA 1 gene who lost weight saw the greatest benefit. At 18, they had an average weight of 142.5 lbs. By the age of 30, these women had lost a minimum of 10 lbs and an average of 18.6 lbs and experienced a reduction in risk of up to 65%. Weight loss also reduced the risk of cancer for women with the defective breast cancer gene BRCA 2 but not to a significant degree. On the other hand, gaining weight substantially heightened the risk of breast cancer for BRCA 1 mutation carriers who had borne at least two children. These women increased their risk of being diagnosed with cancer before the age of 40 by 44% if they gained 10 lbs between the ages of 18 and 30. The study suggests that carrying extra fat around the center of the body could affect ovarian hormones and glucose metabolism, increasing the likelihood of the onset of insulin resistance. This latter condition causes a reduction in insulin receptor sites on cell walls. The lack of sites means that insulin cannot perform its normal role of allowing sufficient blood glucose to pass through those walls to be used as energy. As a result, glucose and insulin levels become unbalanced - often an underlying cause of PCOS. Excess glucose in the bloodstream ends up being stored as fat, which can result in obesity. The symptoms of insulin resistance can be reversed by weight loss via a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise. But, if left unchecked, these symptoms may also lead to the cluster of cardiovascular diseases called metabolic syndrome or syndrome x. In addition, unbalanced levels of insulin can result in pre-diabetes, a reversible condition which, if neglected, may lead to full-blown type 2 diabetes. Lead researcher Dr. Steven Narod of the University of Toronto, Canada, wrote: "The results from this study suggest that weight loss in early adult life protects against early-onset BRCA-associated breast cancers. "Weight gain should also be avoided, particularly among BRCA 1 mutation carriers, who elect to have at least two pregnancies."