Researchers report that moderate exercise can improveinsulin sensitivity and reduce diabetes risk in women withpolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The syndrome is characterizedby irregular periods, acne, and excess facial andbody hair, caused by a hormonal imbalance that results inexcess levels of the male hormone androgen.
PCOS affects between 6% and 10% of US women of childbearingage, and these women often have chronic weightproblems, with the excess weight accumulating in theabdomen. Some affected women, however, have troubleshedding this extra weight.
The study, conducted, included 19 sedentary women withPCOS between 22 and 41 years of age who were all insulin-resistant.They were divided into 2 groups. One group didmoderate exercise (such as walking briskly for 1 hour, 4 daysa week). The other remained inactive. Neither group lostweight nor changed their eating habits, yet insulin resistancedeclined by 25% in the exercise group.