Updated: Nov 9
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a syndrome that affects up to 5 million women in the United States. In addition to a well-balanced diet and exercise routine, supplements can help support the menstrual cycles of those diagnosed with PCOS.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility in women in the United States, affecting up to about 5 million women in the United States.
Characteristics of PCOS include:
Cysts on the ovaries (however, this is not the case for many women)
Blood sugar dysregulation (insulin resistance)
Hormone imbalance and increased androgens (testosterone)
Irregular menstrual cycles
Anovulatory cycles (ovulation does not take place)
Excess hair growth
It is important to support the body with balanced nutrition, a regular exercise routine, and the proper supplementation. The following supplements have been shown to improve symptoms of PCOS and fertility outcomes.
#1 - Inositol
Inositol is a B vitamin that has proven to be one of the best supplements for women with PCOS. It supports blood sugar regulation and ovarian health.
Current studies have shown inositol to play a role in improving insulin, ovarian function and egg quality, and fertility outcomes. Inositol has also shown to help reduce inflammation, encourage weight loss, and increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
#2 - Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This wildly known supplement is found on many grocery store shelves because of its amazing health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil and are a healthy add-on to any diet.
Omega-3's are known to help decrease inflammation and balance cholesterol levels. In women with PCOS, increased inflammation can be a cause of insulin resistance. Therefore, by decreasing inflammation, the body will be able to properly utilize insulin.
Studies also show that omega-3's have an effect on lowering testosterone levels and regulating menstrual cycles in women with PCOS.
#3 - Antioxidants
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is a potent antioxidant and amino acid that is necessary for proper endocrine health. It has similar effects as the blood sugar lowering drug, metformin, and has shown to help decrease fasting insulin and menstrual irregularities.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is an antioxidant that supports the cell's mitochondria to improve egg quality, embryo implantation, and embryonic growth.
#4 - Magnesium
A study published in 2011 showed magnesium to help fasting glucose and insulin levels. By improving insulin resistance, magnesium is a very beneficial supplement for PCOS.
Magnesium is also linked to increasing energy, improving mood and hormone balance, and helping with bowel irregularities.
#5 - Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to insulin resistance, weight gain, and risk of heart disease and diabetes. PCOS is linked to all of these conditions as well.
Vitamin D also helps with egg maturation and development in the ovaries. Supplementing with Vitamin D will help make healthy ovarian follicles that will help with ovulation and pregnancy.
#6 - B-Complex
B vitamins, such as B12, folate (B9), and B6, are very helpful with supporting PCOS naturally by improving insulin resistance and blood glucose regulation.
B9 and inositol are shown to improve pregnancy outcomes in women with PCOS when taken together because of their ability to decrease insulin resistance. B9 can also reduce risk of miscarriage in women with PCOS.
#7 - Zinc
Zinc, when combined with saw palmetto, can help the body eliminate extra testosterone, which causes PCOS.
Zinc, because of its ability to decrease dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a powerful androgen, in the body, it is useful with decreasing excess hair growth, moodiness, and weight gain.
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*Dr. Francesca works only with patients physically located in California.*
*Disclaimer: Although I am a doctor, I may not be your doctor. The information contained within the pages of this site are for educational purposes only and should not to be used to treat conditions. Please consult with your doctor before implementing any of the treatments, diets, supplements, etc. mentioned in this blog.*
*Dr. Francesca is an affiliate for Amazon and other companies. Some links contained within the blog posts may be affiliate links from which she receives a small commission at no extra cost to the customer.*