Hormonal and metabolic effects of polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-3) on polycystic ovary syndrome induced rats under diet

Document Type : Original Article


1 Women’s Reproductive Health Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Pathology, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

3 Department of Biochemistry, Islamic Azad University, Pharmaceutical, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) produces symptoms in approximately 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age (12–45 years old). It is thought to be one of the leading causes of female subfertility. This study aimed to confirm the role of nutrition containing omega-3 (polyunsaturated fatty acid) on control of experimental PCO induced by estradiol-valerat in rats.
Materials and Methods: Wistar female rats (n=40) were allocated into control (n=10) and test groups (n= 30), test group was subdivided into 3 groups: G1, received omega-3 (240 mg/kg/orally/daily); G2 and G3 groups were induced PCO by single injection of estradiol-valerate (16 mg/kg/IM). Group 3 received omega-3 (240 mg/kg/orally/daily) and low carbohydrate feeding for 60 subsequent days; on sixtieth day 5 ml blood samples and ovarian tissues of all rats in the group were removed and prepared for biochemical and hormonal analysis.
Results: Catalase, GPX (Glutathione peroxidase), SOD (Superoxide dismutase) in groups that received omega-3showed higher levels, but MDA (malondialdehyde) level was significantly decreased (P<0.05) in comparison with other experimental groups. Ovarian weights in both experimental and control groups were similar (P<0.05). Level of serum FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) was decreased, but level of testosterone was significantly increased (P<0.05) in PCO group in comparison with control and omega-3 groups.
Conclusion: Results revealed that administration of omega-3 plus lower carbohydrate food significantly controlled   PCO syndrome and balanced FSH and testosterone.


1. Norman RJ, Dewailly D, Legro RS, Hickey TE. Polycystic ovary syndrome. Lancet 2007; 370:685-697.
2. Teede H, Deeks A, Moran L. Polycystic ovary syndrome: a complex conditions with psychological, reproductive and metabolic manifestations that impact on health across the lifespan. J Free Radic Bio Med 2007; 43:1388–1393.
3. Lewandowski KC, Cajdler-Łuba A, Salata I, Bieńkiewicz M, Lewiński A. The utility of the gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) test in the diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). J Endokrynol Pol 2011; 62:120-128.
4. Mannerås L, Cajander S, Holmäng A, Seleskovic Z, Lystig T, Lönn M,et al. A new rat model exhibiting both ovarian and metabolic characteristics of polycystic ovary syndrome. J Endocrinology 2007; 148(8): 3781-3791.
5. González F, Rote N. S, Minium J, Kirwan J. P. Reactive oxygen species-induced oxidative stress in the development of insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism in polycystic ovary syndrome. J Clin Endocr Metab 2006; 91: 336-340.
6. Agarwal A, Aponte-Mellado A, Premkumar BJ, Shaman A, Gupta S. The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2012; 10:49-80.
7. Gharagozloo P, Aitken RJ. The role of sperm oxidative stress in male infertility and the significance of oral antioxidant therapy. Hum Reprod 2011; 26:1628-1640.
8. Sambuca T, Viral H, Haram M. Oxidative stress in polycystic ovary syndrome and its contribution to the risk of cardiovascular disease. Clan Biochem 2001; 407–413.
9. Leeman L, Acharya U. The use of metformin inthe management of polycystic ovary syndromeand associated anovulatory infertility: thecurrent evidence. Obstet Gynaecol 2009; 29:467–472.
10. McDonald C, Bauer J, Capra S, Waterhouse M. Muscle function and omega-3 fatty acids in the prediction of lean body mass after breast cancer treatment. Springerplus. 2013; 2:1-8.
11. Poudyal H, Panchal SK, Diwan V, Brown L. Omega-3 fatty acids and metabolic syndrome: effects and emerging mechanisms of action. Prog Lipd Res 2011; 50:372-387.
12. Fathiazad F; Khaki A; Nouri M,Khaki AA. Effect of Cinnamon Zeylanicum on serum Testosterone and anti-oxidants levels in Rats. IJWHRS 2013; 1:29-35.Elaheh Ouladsahebmadarek et al Omega-3 and polycystic ovary syndrome in rats under diet
13. Beyer WF Jr, Fridovich I. Assaying for superoxide dismutase activity: some large consequence of minor changes in conditions. Anal Biochem 1987; 559-566.
14. Usoh FI, Akpan EJ, Etim EO, Farombi EO. Antioxidant actions of dried flower of Hibiscus sabidariffa L. on sodium arsenite-induced oxidative stress. Pak J Nutr 2005; 135-141.
15. Sultana A, Nadir S. Pituitary gonadotropic hormones in women with oligo/amenorrhoea. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2008; 20:62-65.
16. Moran LJ, Pasquali R, Teede HJ, Hoeger KM, Norman RJ .Treatment of obesity in polycystic ovary syndrome: a position statement of the Androgen excess and polycystic ovary syndrome society. Fertil Steril 2009; 92:1966-1982.
17. Yancy WS, Olsen MK, Guyton JR, Bakst RP, Westman EC. A lowcarbohydrateketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia. Ann Intern Med 2004; 769-777.
18. Rizk AY, Bedaiwy MA, Al-Inany HG. N-acetylcysteine is a novel adjuvant to clomiphene citrate in clomiphene citrate-resistant patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril 2005; 367-370.
19. Galletly C, Moran L, Noakes M, Clifton P, Tomlinson L, Norman R. Psychological benefits of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome—a pilot study. Appetite 2007; 49:590-593.
20. Agarwal A, Gupta S, Sharma RK. Role of oxidative stress in female reproduction. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2005; 3:1-21.
21. Fujii J, Iuchi Y, Okada F. Fundamental roles of reactive oxygen species and protective mechanisms in the female reproductive system. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2005; 3:43-52.
22.Valko M, Leibfritz D, Moncol J, Cronin MT, MazurM, Telser J. Free radicals and antioxidants in normal physiological functions and human disease. Endocrinol Invest Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2007; 39:44-84.
23. Matos L, Stevenson D, Gomes F, Silva-Carvalho JL, Almeida H. Superoxide dismutase expression in human cumulus oophorus cells. J Mol Hum Reprod 2009; 15:411-419.
24. Tsai-Turton M, Luderer U. Opposing effects of glutathione depletion and follicle-stimulating hormone on reactive oxygen species and apoptosis in cultured preovulatory rat follicles. J Endocrinology 2006 ;147:1224-1236.
25. Duda MK. Polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 as modulators of intracellular signaling pathways. Postepy Biochem 2011; 58:149-154.
26. Wang SP, Chen YH, Li H. Association between the levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and blood lipids in healthy individuals. J Exp Ther Med 2012; 4:1107-1111.
27. Phelan N, O'Connor A, Tun TK, Correia N, Boran G, Roche HM,et al. Hormonal and metabolic effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome: results from a cross-sectional analysis and a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2011; 93:652-662.
28. Kasim-Karakas SE, Almario RU, Gregory L, Wong R, Todd H, Lasley BL. Metabolic and endocrine effects of a polyunsaturated fatty acid-rich diet in polycystic ovary syndrome. J Clin Endocr Metab 2004; 89:615-620.
29. Tena G, Moran C, Romero R, Moran S. Ovarian morphology and endocrine function in polycystic ovary syndrome. Arch Gynecol Obstet 2011; 284:1443-1448.