Plant based Milk- Boon for PCOD Patients

What is PCOD/PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Polycystic Ovarian Disorder is the most common endocrine disorder in reproductive women. According to a report by The Hindu, Around 1 in 5 Indian women suffer from PCOS. PCOS has the following symptoms namely, irregular menstrual cycles, excessive body or facial hair and polycystic ovaries etc. If not monitored in time, the condition can have serious health impacts. 

What Does “Polycystic” Mean?

Polycystic means ‘several cysts,’. In the ovaries, PCOS also causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts. The cysts are filled with fluid that contains immature eggs. Slightly greater levels of male hormones known as androgens are produced in the women with PCOS, which contributes to some of the symptoms. Early diagnosis of PCOS is critical since an increased risk of developing many medical problems has been associated with it including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. During puberty, PCOS is an emerging health issue, so encouraging healthier behaviours and early interventions are needed to reduce potential morbidities.

What are Other Consequences?

Other consequences may include weight gain or obesity, usually with excess weight around the hips. There is no known cause of PCOS. But most experts agree that many variables could play a role, including genetics.  1. Various factors get infused into our body in our lifestyle and affect our hormones. Among them, the food we eat is the most instrumental factor. More woman these days seems to be having trouble with their cycles.  A very common disorder affecting women in the 12-45 age group. It is an issue in which the hormones of a woman are out of control. It can cause menstrual cycle complications and make conceiving difficult for her. No ovulation, irregular cycles, acne and hirsutism are the prime symptoms of PCOS.

Normally, the ovaries make female sex hormones and a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). This help regulate the normal development of eggs in the ovaries during each menstrual cycle. In polycystic ovary syndrome, the eggs in these follicles do not mature and are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary – hence the name polycystic ovaries. Various things in our lifestyle get infused into our body and influence our hormones. Primary among them is the food that we eat.

How Dairy Affects PCOD?

More than any other food item, dairy has been found to interfere with the hormone levels specifically.

Hormones in dairy milk that affect PCOS

Link Between Dairy Products  & PCOS:

  • Bodyweight and Dairy Products:

The results of observational studies on the impact of dairy foods on weight, which is believed to be one of the factors of PCOS infliction, are inconsistent without providing a strict and strong outcome. The results of available clinical evaluations do not yield a fixed outcome, especially those that discuss the effects of a diet rich in dairy foods on weight. There is a relationship between slim/low-fat or free-fat milk and increased acne frequency, a component of the PCOS. Some studies provided no evidence of additional weight loss when selecting a diet rich in dairy foods compared to a low-dairy diet. In many studies of PCOS, subjects with a higher intake of milk had a higher BMI. 2

  • Dairy Products and Insulin Resistance:

Protein intake is considered to have the same potential to induce insulin secretion as carbohydrate consumption. Milk proteins have had the greatest effect on insulin secretion relative to other animal proteins. It is primarily due to the high content of branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valines) that causes different insulin-related pathways. It can also be speculated that a high milk intake could be a predictor of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance in women.

  • Dairy Products Versus Ovulation and Fertility in Women:

A more common incidence of acne, one of the clinical symptoms of PCOS, has been linked with the intake of skimmed milk, which can be explained by the existence of androgen precursors in milk. The ingestion of milk products adds to the possibility of developing polycystic ovary syndrome.  Every increase of one serving per day in milk consumption resulted in an increase in the risk of PCOS. PCOS, since low-fat dairy products, relative to full-fat products, are distinguished by a substantially greater intensity of stimulating IGF-I secretion. The link between the two is still has a room for research as concluding results are not shown. 3

Should We Consume Alternate Sources of Milk?

With accessible alternative plant-based food and beverage sources, the answer is a big YES. One of which is coconut milk that is brimmed with benefits, so another perfect replacement for mammal milk is this non-dairy milk. Regular coconut milk intake can help in battling anaemia and cardiovascular diseases. It also helps in maintaining electrolyte levels in the body. Not only that, it has anti-inflammatory effects, but it also helps individuals with joint pain and arthritis.

Other Added Benefits:

Coconut milk does not have lactose. So plant-based coconut milk powder by plantmade can meet all the needs either for a well-built balanced regime for a healthy body or for going vegan.  

Why Coconut Milk Outweighs Other Alternate Milks?

Innumerable reasons make this vegan, plant-based milk worthy of being accepted by masses.

  • Being lactose-free tops the list of pros and hence no more rumbling tummy after drinking it and making it a great choice for PCOS.
  • Coconut milk is loaded with a wide range of micronutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc. It also contains an evidential amount of vitamin C and E.

Cracking Myths About Coconut Milk:

Is Coconut Milk Good for The Heart?

According to a report in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2017, it was concluded that the existence of medium-chain fatty acids/triglycerides (MCTs) in coconuts is potentially beneficial to the heart since they have major effects on lower levels of cholesterol.

Does Coconut Milk Lead to Weight Gain?

Approximately 50 per cent of coconut oil constitutes lauric acid. As its chain length and metabolic effects are intermediate between the two, it can be categorized as both a long-chain fatty acid or a medium-chain. 5 But coconut oil also has 12% real capric acid and caprylic acid medium-chain fatty acids. MCTs, go from the digestive tract directly to your liver, where they are used for energy or ketone output, unlike longer-chain fats. MCTs, go from the digestive tract directly to the liver, where they are used for energy, unlike longer-chain fats.

What Does the Research Claim?

It is less likely that they are processed as fat. As obesity is one of the issues that many PCOS patients deal with, coconut milk can help to maintain weight issues. Research also shows that compared to other fats, MCTs can help minimize appetite and decrease calorie intake. 6

Macro and micronutrients in one cup of 240 grams of coconut milk

Therefore such changes in our diet and lifestyle can curb the symptoms of PCOS. Hence, switching milk sources can be one of the prime measures, to fight PCOD. Plant-based products are not only good for health but are less environmentally taxing than animal-based products as well.