Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an endocrine disorder of the reproductive system that results in a number of symptoms related:
- Irregular or no menstruation
- Hormonal acne
- Hair loss on the head & hair growth in areas you do not want hair growth
- Uncontrollable weight gain
- mood disorders.
- Insulin resistance & diabetes
Although it has seen a quiet rise in terms of its prevalence, a lot of data is still to be explored in terms of its mechanism.
However, current evidence suggests insulin resistance to be among the primary causes behind PCOS.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is considered among the common causes of female infertility, which acquires around 25% of the chunk of all causes behind infertility.
There is variation in the symptoms of the condition in women. However, there are some characteristics that remain a common denominator.
In this condition, there is an imbalance of hormones that disturbs the overall pattern of ovulation, and there might be an absence of ovulation.
Luckily, research suggests there are different types of supplements and vitamins that might help support hormonal imbalance, infertility, and other factors behind the disease.
What Are the Symptoms of PCOS?
Some of the main symptoms of PCOS include the following:
- Irregular menstrual cycle with absent periods or less frequent menstruation
- Exceeding testosterone levels, including excessive hair growth in the body and acne
- Blood lab values show an increase in the levels of testosterone
- Multiple numbers of cysts present on ovaries are demonstrated with abdominopelvic ultrasound
- Increased levels of insulin in the body
- Difficulty in losing body weight and weight gain
- Difficulty in conceiving or carrying to term
PCOS is a chronic syndrome that might not get diagnosed for years. However, the symptoms associated with it are quite troublesome to many women.
Lifestyle support, dietary interventions, and glucose regulating medications such as metformin are considered some front-line treatments to manage the disease.
Supplements for PCOS
Some supplements for PCOS include the following:
Inositol, zinc, vitamin B supplements, NAC, berberine, omega fatty acids, vitamin D, probiotics, Coenzyme Q10, magnesium, carnitine, and others.
However, there are some supplements that are quite helpful in improving the symptoms related to PCOS. Let’s see what those supplements that can really bring a change backed by science are.
1. Myo- Inositol
Myo-Inositol is considered a substance, just like vitamins, which is helpful in insulin cell signaling. It comes in a variety of types.
However, women having PCOS have disturbed ratios of this substance present in their ovaries, which results in the worsening of the egg quality and hormone signaling.
In that case, supplementation of inositol can be helpful. Myoinositol is the common form of inositol given in the form of a supplement, which helps in doing the following things:
- Enhancing insulin sensitivity present in the adipose cells
- Normalization of insulin levels in the body
- Improvement of ovulation rates in the body
- Normalization of the menstrual cycle
- Improvement of egg quality
- Decrease the overall risk of getting gestational diabetes in pregnancy
- Improvement of hormonal balance of testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen
- Improvement of cardiovascular health such as better cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Support in weight loss
Technically, 4 grams every day is sufficient. You are required to make a solution of it in water and consume it throughout the day.
Also, there is D – chiro – inositol present in different supplements. Research indicates myoinositol to be the best supplement for PCOS.
While a research study indicated D- chiro-inositol to be effective, some evidence shows replication of the results.
It is important to note both types are naturally present in the cells and are important for inducing the cell signaling process of insulin.
On the other hand, researchers have also compared metformin to inositol and found that both types of treatments were shown to be effective in dealing with the mechanism of PCOS.
What's more, myoinositol was shown to be better at dealing with elevated testosterone levels and improved rates of pregnancy.
If you want to reduce testosterone levels, what could be better than trying resveratrol supplements? It is a part of a group called polyphenols.
Furthermore, this supplement is best because it protects the body against damage and fights against PCOS, cancer, and heart diseases.
It is recommended to take around 1500 mg of this supplement to manage PCOS. You can take it in the morning for the best results.
On the other hand, the good news is that it is safe for pregnant women but always follow your doctor's advice.
3. Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto is known best for reducing androgen levels. You can consume almost 320 mg of this supplement with breakfast.
It is great for reducing Testeserone PCOS symptoms like acne, facial hair & menstrual irregularity.
Apart from that, it provides other benefits as well, such as improved urinary function, inflammation, and much more.
It is high in antioxidants which is why if you have inflammation and don’t know what is the best solution, we recommend taking this supplement.
It also helps regulate testosterone levels without causing any side effects. It may improve mood swings, sex drive, and brain function.
Turmeric is both anti-inflammatory and good for improving insulin sensitivity and Turmeric effects are supported by science.
It is recommended to have 1000-1500 mg Turmeric and you can have it in the morning with your breakfast.
In case you want to divide the dosage, you can consume it in the evening as well.
If you want to reduce androgen levels, you can try DIM supplements. These supplements are best and adjust the hormone estrogen without causing any side effects.
DIM helps the liver get rid of excess estrogen or a bad type of estrogen called estrone.
Apart from supporting PCOS, it is best for providing different other health benefits, such as slowing down cancer cells, promoting weight loss, helping reduce PMS, and also enhances memory.
There are different ways that you can try to add this supplement to your diet, but for that, you have to follow some rules mentioned below.
- It is recommended not to consume DIM on an empty stomach.
- Keep in mind that it is not good for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV improves insulin sensitivity and it is suggested to take it just before your meals. However, if you are a breastfeeding mother or pregnant, skip ACV.
There is a lot of evidence suggesting ACV supplements are beneficial for lowering insulin resistance in the body, weight maintenance, and cholesterol management, and help in supporting the fat and glucose metabolism in women having PCOS.
CoQ10 improves insulin levels and even lower testosterone as well. On the other hand, it also helps reduce chest pain and prevent migraine headaches, high blood pressure, and much more.
Women having PCOS who want to see an improvement in their overall health may find CoQ10 to be helpful in the following things:
- Decrease in the levels of testosterone in the body
- It helps improvement of hormone profiles
- Decrease in insulin resistance and blood glucose levels in the body
- Decrease in blood cholesterol levels
- Improvement in the rate of ovulation
8. Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are said to have cholesterol-lowering, metabolism-supporting, and anti-oxidant effects in the body.
That is the reason why this supplement is regarded as a special place in different chronic disorders.
A review analyzed the effect of omega-three fatty acids in women having PCOS especially as well.
Research studies indicate omega fatty acids to be helpful for PCOS in the following aspects:
- Improvement in the insulin resistance scores and fasting insulin
- Reduction in hair growth, acne, and other testosterone-related problems
- It supports healthy weight loss and reduces the overall waist circumference as well as BMI
- Reduction in the inflammatory biomarkers
- Improvement in the overall mood and health
It is recommended to take around 2000mg of omega fatty acids to supplement in a day with 360mg of DHA and 480mg of EPA.
Make sure you do a quality check on the omega fatty acid supplements you are buying by asking a healthcare professional.
9. N Acetyl Cysteine
N Acetyl Cysteine, or simply NAC, is an important derivative of amino acid which helps us in making antioxidants.
Women with PCOS may find this compound to be helpful for the following things, including the following:
- Better insulin sensitivity
- Reduction of insulin resistance and glucose
- Improvement of regularity in menses
- Improvement in the egg quality
- Reduction in the rate of miscarriage
The total dosage of N Acetyl Cysteine is shown to be ranging from 1.8 to 3 grams each day in a divided dose.
You may find NAC together with Berberine, DIM rated highly by women in TTC journey.
10. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is quite common among women having PCOS. The receptors of vitamin D present in the body might help in regulating the genes that are advantageous for improving fat and sugar metabolism.
Women having PCOS can see the following benefits by taking vitamin D supplements:
- Reduction in the fasting insulin levels in the body
- Improvement in the follicular development and the regulation of the menstrual cycle
- An improvement in mood
- Better fertility ratio
Women with PCOS may want to get tested for their vitamin-D levels in the blood every year.
Having vitamin D levels in the body investigated would help in the regulation of the metabolism of fat and carbs in the body, which are essential for the management and control of PCOS.
Among the best supplements for PCOS is berberine. Berberine is considered to be a potent herbal extract that is used commonly for the treatment of diabetes, inflammation, infertility, and high cholesterol.
Studies suggest berberine is helpful just like metformin or it could even be better with no side effects when it comes to regulating blood glucose levels in the body and alleviation of cholesterol levels in people having diabetes type 2.
What's more, it may help in increasing the overall rate of ovulation in their body by softening the follicle.
Furthermore, it might help in the improvement of fertility treatment results. Berberine is indicated to have benefits as suggested:
- Improvement in the rates of ovulation by softening the follicle
- Reduces the need for fertility drugs that are required for ovarian stimulation
- Reduces the overall rates of the condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome in PCOS women
- Improves the overall outcomes concerning fertility, especially when it comes in a combo with lifestyle modifications
It is important to note the recommended dosage for berberine herbal extract, which is 500mg capsules taken twice or thrice a day.
Special supplements are considered to be brilliant when it comes to the overall management plan of PCOS.
There are different kinds of PCOS supplements present on the different shelves of stores.
It is the reason why thorough research and consultation with professional healthcare providers are necessary to get the best result from the supplements.
Another point to keep in mind is that PCOS treatment varies from case to case. So, there should be regular testing as well as checkup when it comes to PCOS.
It will enable you to adjust the different plans for treatment present in each life stage.
A balancing of hormone plans for PCOS might need to be adjusted as the time of conception comes near.