How can supplements help PCOS?

Anyone who has PCOS will understand that treating or managing symptoms is highly individualized since symptoms may be different for each individual. A physician might recommend eating healthful and exercising for weight reduction. 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by an imbalance in hormones. Some women with the illness might experience irregular menstrual periods, infertility; obesity; excessive hair growth; severe acne; patches of thickened, darkened skin, and several fluid-filled sacs from the ovaries. The health issue is a typical one, as it impacts one in 10 girls of childbearing age.

While there are various approaches to manage symptoms, another alternative is to research supplements. Since signs are highly individualized, you will want to examine your supplement choices with your physician before you begin taking them.

Supplements may help with insulin resistance, hormone regulation, and inflammation associated with PCOS. Supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consult with your doctor or health team before starting any supplements or herbs therapy. A number of them can interfere with other prescribed PCOS treatments and drugs.

See: Progesterone For PCOS

Supplements for PCOS to consider

Following is a list of the well recognized PCOS supplements based on science and research.

- Turmeric: Turmeric contains the active ingredient, curcumin. Turmeric may be promising for decreasing insulin resistance and as an anti-inflammatory agent. Curcumin is the yellow pigment found in turmeric, and it is a popular topic due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant consequences.

See: Turmeric health benefits & side effects

Chronic inflammation is one of the distinguishing qualities of a PCOS and is responsible for many unwanted symptoms. Inflammation plays an integral role in cardiovascular disease risks, infertility, hirsutism, acne, and weight issues. The fact that curcumin supplements may help fight this inflammation is why a PCOS friendly diet works well.

Your gut may have trouble absorbing the curcumin found in turmeric, and the same is said for the vast majority of cheaper supplements. While curcumin may be a safe and effective nutritional supplement, you may have to find supplements with higher bioavailability if you would like to experience the benefits.

- Fish Oil:  Fish oil usually means a concentrated nutritional supplement comprising two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These fats are predominantly found in fatty fish and fish, but you will also see them in less concentrated ratios in egg yolks supplied the cows are pasture-raised. Fish oil supplements may allow you to balance your essential fatty acids. If you are eating a PCOS friendly diet, then you should be consuming a relatively substantial quantity of animal-derived, omega-6 fats. Having PCOS means you may be at risk for a DHA deficiency because chronic inflammation is a significant risk factor. This fact is a substantial problem because combined with another fatty acid (AA), DHA is an essential nutrient to support good health.

- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is also known as "Indian ginseng." It helps balance cortisol levels, which might improve the stress and symptoms of PCOS.

See: Ashwagandha health benefits & side effects

Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, toxin gooseberry, or Withania somnifera is another choice from Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha has positive effects on cholesterol levels, weight reduction, stress, and anxiety. Different randomized controlled trials demonstrate a notable decrease in tension and anxiety, making this a real natural remedy for this frequent PCOS symptom.  Ashwagandha is known to function by reducing cortisol levels for healing anxiety. For those searching for natural options for anti-anxiety medications, this herb may be one of the best choices.

- Saffron: According to science, saffron food spice also happens to be a potent natural treatment alternative if depression is one of the PCOS symptoms. Several studies have found extracts from this flower to be as potent as common SSRI drugs. Additionally, a few studies demonstrating saffron infusion help with sexual function in both women and men treated with SSRIs.

A recent study also showed promising results for using saffron infusion to decrease inflammation and treat the identical metabolic health risks that face women with PCOS.

For people who are into essential oils, in addition to smelling nice, it is great to know that saffron aromatherapy may offer mild relief from anxiety.

Particular caution should be exercised when considering saffron supplements, as studies have shown that taking too much may be detrimental. High doses also have been used to induce abortions, so consult a doctor.

- Melatonin: Getting a good night's sleep of 8 hours is possibly among the most important things you can do to manage PCOS. This sleep is doubly vital when you're attempting to drop weight with PCOS.

As insomnia is such a frequent PCOS related issue, melatonin supplements can be considered. The Melatonin hormone is naturally produced when our brains discharge it through the night to regulate our sleep. Many studies demonstrate that supplementing with this hormone may improve sleep quality and shorten the time required to fall asleep. Caution is also warranted if you are on neural active drugs such as anti-depressants, as interactions are likely.

Berberine: Berberine is an herb used in Traditional Chinese medicine to assist with insulin resistance. For those who have PCOS, berberine may ramp up your metabolism and balance your body's endocrine reactions. It has been researched in scientific journals and clinical practice due to its close pharmaceutical consequences as an anti-diabetic agent.

Berberine is helpful for PCOS as it can aid women who may face type II diabetes. If your physician is prescribing you metformin or other oral hypoglycemic drugs to assist with blood sugar regulation, this organic product can make these drugs more effective.

It can even be utilized as a replacement for people who would instead not be taking medication in any way. Berberine isn't acceptable for pregnant or nursing women, however, so if you are trying to conceive, its best avoided. As it may interact with a lot of drugs, consult a doctor before prescribing this supplement.

Inositol: Inositol is a B vitamin that may help enhance insulin resistance and fertility in some instances of PCOS. Inositol is a group of naturally occurring vitamin-like substances that are present to varying amounts in many foods. Myo-inositol, D-chiro-inositol, or a combination of both are the most frequently used inositol types of supplements.

Structurally somewhat similar to sugar, they may have a significant impact on several PCOS associated symptoms. Scientific studies have examined the effects of inositol supplements on several PCOS related symptoms. Inositol supplements can help manage specific PCOS symptoms. Myo-inositol may help anybody with PCOS attempting to conceive as this supplement has been proven to decrease AMH levels and the size of polycystic ovaries better than birth control. It's also been shown to improve egg quality and lower the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing fertility treatment.

In a controlled trial, researchers demonstrated that this point when women with PCOS who obtained myo-inositol supplements attained a natural pregnancy rate of 30% during a six month period, compared to only 18 percent of women who were prescribed metformin.

Inositol supplements may also be ideal for stress, with several studies showing they can decrease panic attacks, sometimes even better than drugs. Inositol can assist with unwanted hair and acne also, but do not expect incredible results. Another study to date indicates a statistically significant improvement in these symptoms for many, but not all women with PCOS.

- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is derived from cinnamon trees bark. Cinnamon extract has a beneficial impact on insulin resistance. Cinnamon also may govern menstruation for women with PCOS.

- Chromium: Chromium supplements may help improve your body mass index. They might also stabilize insulin resistance to make your body metabolize glucose that helps PCOS.

- Evening primrose oil: Evening primrose oil may help with irregular menstruation & menstrual pain. It may also help to improve cholesterol and oxidative stress, both of which are linked to PCOS.

Zinc: Zinc is a trace element that may help to boost fertility and your immune system. Excessive or unwanted hair development and alopecia might be improved using zinc supplements. It is also possible to eat red meat, beans, tree nuts, and fish to get more zinc in your diet. Zinc is one of the vital micronutrients required for survival, and thanks to its antioxidant and enzyme regulating behavior, supplementing with this mineral can influence several PCOS related signs such as childbirth, acne, weight control, insulin sensitivity and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Zinc has a demonstrated efficacy in combating treatment-resistant depression. Depression is well regarded as a widespread problem for women with PCOS and can make a difference in everyday well-being. Speak with your doctor to find what is right for you.

- Salacia Reticulata: Salacia reticulata is a Sri Lankan herb and has scientifically credible studies for organic supplements for PCOS.  Even though it can be obtained as a powder, Salacia reticulata can be made into a tea called Kothala Himbutu, where it's been proven effective in treating type II diabetes. This herb has a short term impact on glucose absorption and insulin levels to offer a helpful remedy for blood sugar regulation. As it's best taken immediately after a meal, using a post-dinner Kothala Himbutu tea could be useful if you're worried about your metabolic health. Human studies suggest that Salacia reticulata is well tolerated, and safe even if taken together with metformin.

- Minoxidil: Minoxidil (Rogaine) can work for treating baldness for men and women. While the specific mechanisms are not known, minoxidil helps revive thinning hair in women with PCOS by slowing the hair follicles' development stage. These are often shortened as a result of the elevated testosterone levels in PCOS.

Probiotics: Probiotics help with your digestion and gut health and play a significant part in treating PCOS. They can also decrease inflammation and regulate sex hormones like androgen and estrogen. Consider taking probiotic supplements and eating probiotic foods, such as kimchi and kombucha. Probiotics are live cultures of healthy gut bacteria, which are proving to be among the most promising for PCOS. Several randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trials have shown promising results for using specific bacteria strains to offset the fundamental mechanisms driving all our PCOS symptoms. Studies are taking the understanding that PCOS stems largely from imbalances in the gut, and attempts to balance our gut health may help.

Probiotic supplements, specifically for PCOS, are being researched in the lab. There are many families of bacteria which are generally influenced by diet. Getting yourself tested first may be wise to find the best probiotic supplement for your unique situation.

See: Ayurveda Treatment For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Adaptogen herbs

When your body does not regulate insulin, it may build up in your body. This buildup can cause high levels of androgens or male sex hormones. Adaptogen herbs may help your body in balancing these male hormones. Some adaptogen herbs may also help to alleviate other symptoms of PCOS, like irregular intervals. Use caution and talk to your physician before taking any herbal supplement, as the FDA has not evaluated their claims.

- Holy basil: Holy basil, also known as tulsi, addresses chemical and metabolic stress. It's known as "queen of herbs." Holy basil can help reduce your blood sugar, prevent weight gain, and decrease your cortisol levels.

- Tribulus Terrestris: Tribulus Terrestris has been shown to help stimulate ovulation and support healthy menstruation. It might also decrease the number of ovarian cysts.

Maca root: Maca plant is a traditional herb believed to boost fertility. Maca root may help hormones balancing and lowering of cortisol levels. It may also help treat depression, a sign of PCOS.

- Chasteberry: Chasteberry has been used for ages to aid with reproductive conditions. It can help to improve some symptoms of PMS, though its impact on fertility requires more study.

- Licorice root: The root of the licorice plant includes a chemical known as glycyrrhizin, which has several unique properties. Licorice root was suggested as an anti-inflammatory agent. It works to help metabolize sugar and balance hormones.

See: Ayurvedic herbs to heal PCOS

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See: Diet Therapy For Healing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS

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