Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that can cause a variety of symptoms, including irregular periods, weight gain, and fertility problems. While there is no cure for PCOS, there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Along with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, some women with PCOS may also benefit from taking supplements. In this article, we’ll discuss the best supplements for living with PCOS.
This is an insulin-sensitizing agent which acts to regulate a number of cellular functions including improved insulin use in the body. It is part of the vitamin B complex group It is found in fresh fruits, whole grains, and beans. It has been shown that a high percentage of women who have PCOS will start ovulation and see their periods. Studies have shown that Myo-Inositol provides benefits such as
- Lower serum androgen levels (male hormones)
- Cut down triglycerides
- Elevates HDL levels (the good cholesterol)
- Systolic and diastolic blood pressure reduction
Dosage for myoinositol is 2 to 4g daily and it is combined with 200mcg of folic acid twice daily for 6 months
The body uses N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) to create antioxidants. Vitamins, minerals, and other substances known as antioxidants help to prevent cell damage and restore it. It has the added benefits of
- Boosts the production of glutathione in the body, which in turn increases immunity in the body.
- Helps in preventing liver and kidney damage
- Decreases the inflammation in fat cells
- Neutralizing free radicals that damage cells and tissues.
It is found in beans, lentils, spinach, bananas, salmon, and tuna.
Also protein dominant foods like chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, eggs, sunflower seeds, and legumes — contain cysteine
Recent studies have shown that a combination of Clomiphene Citrate and NAC considerably increased both ovulation and pregnancy rates in women with CC-resistant PCOS. NAC has multiple biological effects, two of which are potentially and directly related to pregnancy rate improvement
Dosage is 600 to 1800 mg daily
This bioactive substance called berberine is derived from the Berberis genus of shrubs.
It actually belongs to a group of substances known as alkaloids. It is a yellow substance that has frequently been used as a dye. Traditional Chinese medicine has employed berberine in the treatment of a number of diseases for a very long time. Berberine is known to help with weight loss and weight management.
In a study, berberine supplements were taken by women with PCOS also improved insulin resistance. There was a marked increase in ovulation rate per cycle; so, berberine is also effective on fertility and live birth rates in women affected by PCOS.
500–1,500 mg divided into 2–3 servings, ideally taken with meals
Prenatal Vitamins with Folate
A Natural prenatal vitamin for both before and during pregnancy is folate. When taken with myoinositol, folate is known to encourage the proper growth of the fetus and can enhance the body’s insulin function.
In 60% of women, taking daily supplements of folate and inositol can enhance insulin sensitivity and stimulate ovulation. Every woman that is trying to conceive, it doesn’t matter if you have PCOS or not should be taking prenatal vitamins.
Maca root has been utilized as a traditional remedy for increasing libido and fertility. It is known to lower cortisol levels and hormone balance may be achieved with maca root. Depression, which can be a symptom of PCOS, may also be treated with it.
Maca is an adaptogen. Adaptogens help in regulating balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands.
Maca is known to
- Increase libido
- Reduces cravings
- Provide energy boosts
- Is rich with antioxidants which help in reducing inflammation
- Maca balances out FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and estradiol
Black Seeds( Nigella Sativa)
Black seed oil, also known as black cumin seed oil, is produced from the tiny black seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. It is often sold as an amber-colored oil but can also be obtained in capsule form.
Black seed oil, also known as black cumin seed oil, has been grown throughout Southwest Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Traditional cultures use it as a tonic for a variety of conditions, from digestive problems to immune system function to skin health and beyond.
Research showed that taking Black seed oil increased the efficacy of metformin in drastically reducing PCOS-related disorders with
- Resumption of menstrual regularity
- Weight reduction
- Change of body fat distribution
- Regaining oxidative balance.
It is also known to improve ovarian tissue
With regard to its amazing and well-researched health advantages, black seed oil is known to be
- A bronchodilator
- Has neuroprotective functions
Boiling it and taking it as tea seems to be more popular. (Most of the research conducted was done on the black seed cumin oil though)
- Dosage for oil .1-2.5 grams by mouth daily for 4-12 weeks.
- For powder 1 teaspoon boiled with hot water and taken like tea for 8-12 weeks.
Vitamin D deficiency is known to aggravate symptoms of PCOS. Daily vitamin D supplementation of 600 IU may ease some PCOS problems such as
- Weight gain,
That in turn, can improve your overall health and further improve your emotional state and energy, which can lead to even more wellness gains. Twelve weeks of vitamin D supplementation at 1000IU per day improved insulin sensitivity.
A review of multiple studies involving vitamin D and PCOS patients demonstrated a significant improvement in
- Serum total testosterone (TT),
- High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP),
- Total antioxidant capacity (TAC)
Every woman trying to conceive regardless if she has PCOS or not should be taking vitamin D supplements.
Vitex Agnus Castus (chasteberry):
The most popular variety of vitex used medicinally is Vitex Agnus-Castus. The chaste berry or monk’s pepper fruit, also known as Vitex Agnus-Castus, is roughly the size of a peppercorn.
It comes from the chaste tree, which got its name from the possibility that men’s libidos were reduced by its fruit during the Middle Ages. Monks also used to eat this fruit to help them maintain celibacy. This fruit and other plant parts are frequently used as herbal remedies to cure a range of illnesses.
Vitex can assist in increasing progesterone levels while decreasing prolactin levels. It can lessen breast discomfort and tenderness and aid with premenstrual symptoms.it also reduces symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) like
- Depressed mood
- Breast pain and tenderness
Hyperprolactinemia is a condition in which you have higher than normal prolactin levels. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for the production of breast milk. The most common sign of hyperprolactinemia is milky or clear nipple discharge.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body on their own. Since they are an essential fat, they are required for survival. The foods we eat provide us with the omega-3 fatty acids we require.
Foods like fish and flaxseed contain omega-3 fatty acids, as do nutritional supplements like fish oil. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid are the three major omega-3 fatty acids (DHA). Plant oils including flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils are the main sources of ALA.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been shown to
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Decreased chance of sudden cardiac death brought on by an irregular heart rhythm.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help keep blood platelets from clumping together, lowering the risk of blood clots.
- Maintaining healthy, damage-free artery lining helps prevent the development of thick, rigid arteries. This prevents artery plaque from developing.
- They decrease triglyceride levels by slowing the rate at which they form in the liver.
- Decreased inflammation: The inflammatory response of your body is thought to play a role in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The generation of chemicals produced during the inflammatory response is slowed by omega-3 fatty acids.
According to the results of a current study, women with PCOS who took flaxseed supplements for 12 weeks saw a significant decrease in their body weight, waist circumference, and BMI (body mass index) . One of the symptoms of the beginning of PCOS is obesity.
Another study showed the efficacy of flax seeds in improving
- Reduction of body weight, especially around the abdomen
- Insulin concentration,
- Insulin Resistance
- Triglycerides (TG)
- High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP),
- Leptin production (a protein produced by fat cells. It is a hormone acting mainly in the regulation of appetite and fat storage)
Taking flax seed supplements also helped increase in
- High-Density Lipids (HDL), ( the good cholesterol)
- Adiponectin ( This is a protein-based hormone that is produced by fat cells. Its effects include the reduction of inflammation and atherogenesis (the formation of fatty deposits in the arteries) and encourages trigger responses of cells to insulin)
Both dietary fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in flax seeds. Your body’s hormonal levels can be regulated by flaxseed’s phytoestrogen content and hormone-balancing properties.
Dosage 1 to 2 tablespoons daily. You can mix with yoghurt, custard, or avocado.
Probiotics are bacteria introduced into the body to help with certain functions, most especially to fight bad bacteria. In PCOS, they help to regulate the male and female sex hormones, androgens and estrogen. They also help in gut health
In women with PCOS, cinnamon has been proven to improve menstrual cycle regularity and have an insulin-sensitizing effect.
According to studies, cinnamon helps with
- Regulation of high blood pressure
- Acts as an Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antifungal, and has antibacterial qualities.
It is one of the most widely used spices in the world.
Cinnamon is a powerhouse spice. When using cinnamon, remember to use Ceylon cinnamon. If you can’t find or afford it, there are other varieties of cinnamon. You can take cinnamon capsules or the powder.
Dosage 2 to 4 tablespoons daily.
This spice has been used for ages in India for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The turmeric extract, curcumin showed promising effects in treating PCOS and inducing ovulation. It also lowers inflammation at a molecular level. Turmeric benefits for PCOS include
- May Decrease Insulin Resistance
- Improves blood sugar levels
- Curbs inflammation
- Increases HDL (the good cholesterol)
- Dosage 1 gram daily for pills
- For powder, 2 tablespoons sprinkle on food, Greek yoghurt, and non-processed dairy
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that is produced in the body. It regulates over 600 chemical reactions in the body. It is responsible for producing Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This is responsible for energy production in the body.
One of its primary functions is to serve as a cofactor, or helper molecule, in the biochemical activities that enzymes continuously carry out. More than 600 enzyme chemical reactions that occur in the body depend on magnesium. They include
- ATP creation: formation of ATP to convert to energy
- Amino genesis: forming new proteins from amino acids
- Genetic regulation and maintenance: Assists in the creation and repair of DNA and RNA
- Muscle Articulation: assists in muscle contraction and release
- Nervous system regulation: regulating neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system
This essential nutrient has a lot of benefits in the human body. In women living with PCOS, it reduces insulin resistance and helps with reducing inflammation.
The first symptoms you may experience if your diet is deficient in magnesium include general symptoms like
- Loss of appetite.
If you don’t take action to increase your magnesium intake, you could end up experiencing more severe symptoms like
- Irregular heartbeats,
A frequently low magnesium intake may also increase your risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Best Supplement Combination For Getting Pregnant For Women Without PCOS
These supplement combinations are the best if you are a woman trying to conceive.
- Prenatal Vitamins With Folate
- Vitamin D supplements
- Omega 3 Fatty acids
Best Supplement Combination For Getting Pregnant With PCOS
This supplement combination is the best if you are trying to conceive with PCOS. This does not guarantee a pregnancy. However, it does increase your chances. Keep in mind that you may take these in combination with estrogen patches, Clomid, or letrozole.
- Prenatal Vitamins with Folate
- Vitamin D
- Omega 3 fatty acids
There are a number of supplements that can help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. While there is no cure for PCOS, these supplements can help manage the condition and improve quality of life. If you are living with PCOS, be sure to talk to your doctor about which supplements are right for you.
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