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The hormone can program the fetus for better health

The hormone can program the fetus for better health

PCOS is a common condition that affects more than one in ten women. The condition is characterized by increased levels of the male hormone, menstrual disturbances, insulin resistance, obesity, and difficulty getting pregnant.

The cause of PCOS is not clear, says Anna Penrik, but the environment during the fetus, such as exposure to the male hormone through the mother’s blood, is thought to be an important factor.

The fact that girls of women with PCOS are at increased risk of developing PCOS suggests that the fetal environment may play an important role. Anna Penrik and her colleagues investigated how the hormone adiponectin during fetal life affects the metabolism and health of offspring in adulthood.

We discovered that high levels of adiponectin in mice during pregnancy had positive health effects on the offspring, such as reduced fat mass and improved blood sugar regulation, says Anna Benrik.

Fetal programs

Obese women and women with PCOS have lower levels of adiponectin during pregnancy, which can be linked to babies who are born larger for their age. These children, in turn, are more likely to develop obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in adulthood.

The study showed that exposure to adiponectin during fetal programs improved metabolic health in the offspring later in life. Offspring do not have as high levels of adiponectin as adults but still have less fat mass and better glycemic control.

It opens for future medications

“This opens up the possibility of administering a future drug that works via adiponectin to women who are overweight or suffer from PCOS to protect the baby from the negative health effects associated with obesity and PCOS during pregnancy,” says Anna Penrik.

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This discovery could help future generations of women who gave birth to mothers with PCOS to improve health and increase their chances of conceiving. In a previous study, Anna Penrik Benrik also showed that the hormone adiponectin has properties that can help women with PCOS by relieving symptoms.

Difficulty getting pregnant

PCOS means that a woman has many ovaries in one or both ovaries and at the same time there is often too much testosterone in the body. PCOS does not always cause symptoms, but the symptoms that the condition can cause are, among other things, that women rarely or ever menstruate, have a lot of body hair, pimples, easy weight gain, depression and decreased motivation. Sexual, difficult pregnancy.


Scientific material:

Maternal adiponectin inhibits visceral adipose and adipocyte hyperplasia in prenatal female mice..


Anna Penrick, Assistant Professor of Biomedicine at Skovd University, [email protected]