Are supplements good for PCOS? Women's health experts answer
Women's health experts spill the beans on whether treatment with supplements can help regulate hormonal balances in people with PCOS or improve their insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, irregular menstrual cycles, missed periods and unpredictable ovulation
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal imbalance caused by the ovaries creating excess male hormones where the ovaries produce unusually high levels of hormones called androgens, which causes the reproductive hormones to become imbalanced. As a result, people with PCOS often have irregular menstrual cycles, missed periods and unpredictable ovulation.
PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disease that affects women of adolescent and reproductive age group, characterised by menstrual dysfunction, insulin resistance, infertility, obesity, acne, metabolic syndrome, signs of androgen excess like hair fall, acne and hirsutism. It is a complex disorder and though there are extensive studies, the cause of PCOS remains unclear.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Poonguzhali Liston, MS OB/GYN, Advanced diploma in ART and RM, shared, “Impaired hormone production, hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance are considered among the causes of PCOS. Deficiency of vitamin D, bioflavonoids, calcium, chromium, NAC, probiotics, selenium and zinc are associated with insulin resistance. Hence, treatment with these supplements improve insulin sensitivity and improvement of insulin resistance.”
She revealed, “Inositol, vitamin A, omega 3 fatty acid and NAC supplementation helps combat hyperandrogenism (increased testosterone). Inositol and Omega 3 fatty supplementation in particular help in recovery of PCOS with regards to both metabolic and reproductive parameters.”
Considering that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for PCOS, Dr Garima Sawhney, Gynaecologist and Co-Founder at Pristyn Care, highlighted, “The best course of treatment for PCOS will vary depending on the individual's condition. However, some supplements may be beneficial and may help to regulate hormonal balances in women with PCOS. Some of these supplements are Inositol, vitamin D and calcium, Omega3 etc. If you are considering taking supplements for either condition, it is important to speak to your doctor first to ensure that they are safe for you and will not interact with any other medications you are taking.”