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Eur J Nutr. 2018 Feb 26. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1648-7. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of resistant dextrin as a prebiotic on metabolic parameters and androgen level in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome: a randomized, triple-blind, controlled, clinical trial.

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Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Department of Food Science and Technology, School of Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Endocrine Research Center, Imam Reza Medical, Research and Training Hospital, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Midwifery Department, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.



Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common abnormalities in women of reproductive age that can lead to a variety of metabolic and reproductive disorders. Studies reveal that a healthy diet is the most effective way for treating the risk factors associated with metabolic disorders and place greater emphasis on the consumption of prebiotic foods. The present study aims to determine the effect of resistant Dextrin on metabolic parameters, including lipid profile, fasting blood glucose (FBS) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), and androgen levels, including serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and free testosterone, as the primary outcomes, and manifestations of PCOS including menstrual cycle irregularity and hirsutism, as the secondary outcomes.


This randomized, controlled, triple-blind, clinical trial was conducted on 62 women aged 18-45 in Tabriz, Iran, in 2016-2017. The participants were divided into a prebiotic group and a placebo group using block randomization. The prebiotic group consumed 20 g of resistant dextrin dissolved in a glass of water and the placebo group 20 g of maltodextrin also dissolved in a glass of water on a daily basis for 3 months. To measure the serum lipid profile, FBS, hsCRP, DHEA-S and free testosterone before and 3 months after the intervention, 5-ml blood samples were collected from the participants and analyzed using the ELISA method. The Ferriman-Gallwey scale for assessing hirsutism and a checklist for assessing menstrual cycle characteristics were completed before and 3 months after the intervention. A general linear model was used to analyze the data.


No statistically significant differences were observed between the two groups in terms of sociodemographic characteristics and baseline values. 3 months after the intervention, based on the ANCOVA and after adjusting for the baseline values, the mean serum levels of LDL-C (adjusted mean difference = - 29.79; 95% CI = - 43.37 to - 16.21; P < 0.001), triglyceride (AMD = - 38.50; 95% CI = - 59.73 to - 17.28; P = 0.001), total cholesterol (AMD = - 29.98; 95% CI = - 40.14 to - 19.82; P < 0.001), FBS (AMD = - 11.24; 95% CI = - 15.43 to - 7.06; P < 0.001), hsCRP (AMD = - 1.75; 95% CI = - 2.92 to - 0.57; P = 0.004), DHEA-S (AMD = - 0.7; 95% CI = - 1.34 to - 0.13; P = 0.017) and free testosterone (AMD = - 0.32; 95% CI = - 0.56 to - 0.08; P = 0.010) revealed a statistically significant decrease in the intervention group compared to the placebo group, while the mean serum HDL-C showed a statistically significant increase in this group compared to the placebo group (AMD = 5.82; 95% CI = 2.27-9.37; P = 0.002). 3 months after the intervention, there was a significant difference between the two groups in terms of menstrual cycle intervals and hirsutism (P < 0.001).


Resistant dextrin consumption can regulate metabolic parameters and androgen levels and manifestations including hirsutism and menstrual cycle irregularity in women with PCOS.


Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate; Fasting blood glucose; Free testosterone; High sensitivity C-reactive protein; Lipid profile; PCOS; Prebiotic


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