With all of the conflicting information on the internet about what will help for women with PCOS, this list is intended to serve as a starting point. I have compiled a list of supplements that have been researched and proven to help with management of PCOS cause and symptoms. As always, I am not a doctor, so PLEASE consult with yours in regards to these supplements.
1. Prebiotic and Probiotic
You’ve probably heard of probiotics before, but have you heard of prebiotics? Women with PCOS have been proven to lack diversity in their gut microbiota, which is a large contributing factor in making PCOS an inflammatory condition (more on this in another post). It is important to not only introduce new flora into the gut via probiotic, but also to feed the ones that are already there by using a prebiotic. (1)
Personally, if you could only invest in one supplement on this list, this would be the one I would suggest because it combines both pre and probiotics in the same supplement. Here is what I use:
2. Myo and D-Chiro Inositol
Inositol is a hot topic right now for women with PCOS – and rightfully so! While the pre and probiotics work on restoring your gut health, Myo and D-Chiro (MI and DCI) Inositol work to make use of the insulin your body creates. For women with PCOS and Insulin Resistance, this can mean that there is a LOT of unused insulin floating around in your body stored as fat and free radicals. This is due to a disruption in the insulin transport system within the metabolic system of women with PCOS. What MI and DCI does, is work to repair and make use of the insulin your body has created from the food you have consumed, thus reducing the free radicals and fat stored in your body. If you want to learn more about MI and DCI, check out my recent post that digs into the research! (2)
My personal favorite brand of MI and DCI is Wholesome Story. I have tried both the powder and the capsules and liked both, but I tend to stick to the capsules because they’re easier to bring while I am running around in my busy lifestyle. I also like that the capsules are precisely measured so you know exactly how much product you are consuming.
This one might seem crazy, but did you know that Melatonin do more in your body than just help you go to sleep?! While one of the symptoms of PCOS can be insomnia (and Melatonin is very helpful for that too), it can also help to reduce the oxidative stress in your body. It’s kind of like a vicious cycle for women with PCOS, you have inflammation because of the oxidative stress and you have oxidative stress because of the inflammation. Melatonin helps to interrupt this cycle.
“In summary, metabolic dysfunction is the major finding contributing to the initiation of PCOS, melatonin can hinder this process via its improving effects on metabolic functions. Melatonin treatment in PCOS patients can enhance the quality of the oocyte and embryo, increase the number of mature oocytes, reduce obesity, and ameliorate the proinflammatory state, which underlies the development of insulin resistance.” (3)
The brand of Melatonin that I prefer is Nature Made Melatonin 5mg. It comes in three different strengths, 3 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg. I usually take 5 mg before bed every night, but you might want to start with a lower dose and increase as you feel the need to.
- Zhao, X., Jiang, Y., Xi, H., Chen, L., & Feng, X. (2020). Exploration of the Relationship Between Gut Microbiota and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): a Review. Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde, 80(2), 161–171. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1081-2036
- Kalra, B., Kalra, S., & Sharma, J. B. (2016). The inositols and polycystic ovary syndrome. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 20(5), 720–724. https://doi.org/10.4103/2230-8210.189231
- Mojaverrostami, S., Asghari, N., Khamisabadi, M., & Heidari Khoei, H. (2019). The role of melatonin in polycystic ovary syndrome: A review. International journal of reproductive biomedicine, 17(12), 865–882. https://doi.org/10.18502/ijrm.v17i12.5789