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Gut microbiome change to treat polycystic ovary syndrome

A new study suggests that modifying gut bacteria may help treat the symptoms of those suffering with polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS). Researchers at San Diego University in California used mouse models that mimicked PCOS by administering letrozole, which caused hyperandrogenism, this is seen in 80% of PCOS sufferers. Half the mice were given letrozole, whilst the other half received a placebo. After 5 weeks, the letrozole group had gained more weight and were significantly fatter than the control group.

After analysing faecal samples of the two groups in order to assess the types of bacteria present, the researchers found that there was reduced diversity in the letrozole group; usually without any drugs the gut microbiome would change more. They also found that there was an increase in certain types of bacteria that are commonly seen in obese mice and humans in this group. However it was unclear whether the changes in the gut bacteria were caused by the weight gain, or were the cause of it, early analysis suggests that the bacteria may in fact be responsible for the obesity. If this is the case, then the researchers are keen to use probiotics as a possible prevention or treatment strategy for obesity.

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