Increase in daily LH secretion in response to short-term calorie restriction in obese women with PCOS

Eveline W.C.M. Van Dam, Ferdinand Roelfsema, Johannes D. Veldhuis, Frans M. Helmerhorst, Marijke Frölich, A. Edo Meinders, H. Michiel J. Krans, Hanno Pijl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that short-term calorie restriction would blunt luteinizing hormone (LH) hypersecretion in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and thereby ameliorate the anovulatory endocrine milieu. To test this hypothesis, 15 obese patients with PCOS and nine age- and body mass index-matched healthy women underwent 24-h blood sampling to quantitate plasma LH, leptin, and insulin levels. PCOS subjects were prescribed a very low caloric liquid diet (4.2 MJ/day) for 7 days and were then resampled. Basal and pulsatile LH secretion was threefold higher in PCOS subjects, but plasma insulin and leptin levels were not different in the calorie-replete state. Contrary to expectation, calorie restriction enhanced basal and pulsatile LH secretion even further. As expected, plasma glucose, insulin, and leptin concentrations decreased by 18, 75, and 50%, respectively. Serum total testosterone concentration fell by 23%, whereas serum estrone, estradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and androstenedione concentrations remained unchanged. Enhanced LH secretion in the presence of normal metabolic and hormonal adaptations to calorie restriction points to anomalous feedback control of pituitary LH release in PCOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E865-E872
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4 45-4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Dietary intervention
  • Feedback regulation
  • Insulin
  • Leptin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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