The FIREx study explores insulin resistance in women with and without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and the health benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
It is being undertaken by VU's Institute for Health & Sport and partner institutes as part of the Women's Health program.
To date, fifteen participants have taken part and are showing some really promising results with improved fitness, insulin sensitivity and metabolic health.
'Understanding the role of tissue Fibrosis in Insulin Resistance associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and the impact of Exercise: The FIREx study.'
The will improve knowledge on the mechanisms of insulin resistance and the health benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) compared with standard care in women with and without PCOS. The study is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and will investigate new mechanisms of insulin resistance and the impact of HIIT which is known to improve metabolic health in those with and without PCOS.
Participants with and without PCOS who are considered lean (body mass index [BMI] <26.9) will undertake a series of metabolic, fitness and clinical assessments only.
Those with and without PCOS who at consider overweight (BMI>27) will be randomly allocated to either a lifestyle advice and HIIT or lifestyle advice only intervention group.
All participants will have the following tests:
- DEXA scans to measure body composition
- Blood sampling
- Hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp (used to determine insulin sensitivity)
- Muscle and fat sampling
- Exercise testing
- Lifestyle questionnaires focusing on nutrition, quality of life and physical activity
- Physical activity monitoring via accelerometer.
Women in this study must meet these criteria:
- not be taking oral contraceptives, insulin sensitisers or lipid lowering medications
- not smoke
- not be pregnant or looking to fall pregnant in next 6 months
- not have diabetes or cardiovascular disease.