Hope for PCOS: Nutrients improve symptoms in polycystic ovary syndrome

PCOS affects more than 7 million women

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women of child-bearing age, with symptoms including irregular periods, elevated male hormone levels, and enlarged ovaries. Untreated, the syndrome can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health problems.

According to the PCOS Awareness Association, some of the potential issues women face who suffer from this condition include:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Unwanted hair growth
  • Thinning hair on the head
  • Infertility
  • Acne
  • Mood changes
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Headaches and
  • Sleeping difficulties (Find out more at pcosaa.org).

As with any medical condition, seek your doctor’s advice if you are experiencing these issues or irregular periods to discover just what may be the core cause of your difficulties. If you have been identified as having PCOS, these nutrients may be of interest to you.

 Folic acid reduced inflammation

In this study, 69 women with PCOS, age 18 to 40, took a placebo, 1 mg of folate (folic acid) per day, or 5 mg of folate per day, for eight weeks. The doses were several times the U.S. recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folate.

Doctors measured inflammation levels and signs of oxidative stress before and after the study. Women taking the 5 mg dose of folate saw significant decreases in inflammation including lower levels of homocysteine and C-reactive protein. The women in the 5 mg folate group also had a better ability to regulate and use insulin, and a significant increase in total antioxidant capacity, suggesting less oxidative stress.
Reference: Clinical Endocrinology; October, 2014, Vol. 81, No. 4, 582-7

 Carnitine, glucose control, and weight loss

In this study, 60 overweight women with PCOS took 250 mg of carnitine per day or a placebo. After 12 weeks, while the placebo group had not improved or had deteriorated, women taking carnitine saw a 7.3 percent decrease in fasting blood sugar levels, and a 21.9 percent decrease in insulin levels.

Women in the carnitine group also lost an average of six pounds, or about 4 percent of body weight, saw a similar decline in body mass index scores, had nearly a one-inch decrease in waist size, and a 2.5 percent decrease in measurement around the hips.
Reference: Clinical Endocrinology; December, 2015, Published Online

Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before taking a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or take medications. For example, folic acid and carnitine thin blood.  Also, carnitine may be contraindicated if you take thyroid medicine or have hypothyroidism.

Article copyright 2017 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.