I was always sceptical about supplements. After doing so much research on them over the years, actually many PCOS supplements are a waste of money and ones our body doesn’t need. In fact, they usually end up in the toilet! (When we go for a pee I mean). Our bodies are incredibly clever, and if we are low on a type of vitamin or mineral then most of the time they will make some more internally.
We need to be careful of clever marketing. Many supplement suppliers have no idea about PCOS of what you actually need, they are only interested in your money. I am a fellow PCOS sufferer with no intention of making money through brand promotion, just trying to help you ladies out!
After speaking to many women, it’s obvious to me there are two reasons why you want advice on supplements – you’re either like me and believe there are healthier and more beneficial then turning to synthetic medication, or you are worried you might be nutrient deficient in some.
Whilst educating my clients about a specific wholefoods diet we need to follow in order to increase our nutrient intake and prevent any deficiencies, sometimes it’s just not enough! PCOS supplements can really help.
Below are my top 3 supplements I would strongly advise you invest in. Try them for 3 months and see how you feel. These are all back up by scientific evidence which I have read and summarised for you!
This is by far my number one, and actually brought my periods back in 2 weeks! I add it to my morning smoothie every day. It’s a powder and doesn’t taste of anything so is easy to consume. Inositol is a group of nine naturally occurring vitamin-like compounds that are present to varying degrees in some foods. ‘Myo-inositol’ and D-chiro-inositol’ are the most common combination.
I would recommend taking Inositol in some form if you are looking to conceive, regulate your periods or just get them back if you haven’t had one for a while! It can reduce AMH levels way better than birth control. It can increase egg quantity and reduce the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation.
METFORMIN Is not always the answer girls! Inositol showed in a controlled study that women taking myo-inositol supplements achieved a natural pregnancy rate of 30% compared to 18% for metformin over a 6-month period.
Inositol can also help anxiety, reduce panic attacks and help with unwanted hair and acne. It can also help control your sugar cravings, contributing to your weight loss journey!
Recommended dose – 4g in powdered form (combine with Folic acid for best results)
Food Sources – Citrus fruit, seeds, beans, cantaloupe
PCOS ladies can be deficient in Magnesium, and it’s very important for us to function properly! We are 19 times more likely to be deficient than a woman without PCOS, so it’s quite high! It’s the 4th most abundant mineral in the body, and it helps us in many ways. Just a few to name are –
- Acts as a co-factor or enzyme for chemical reactions in the body
- Produces and transports energy around us
- Required for DNA replication and RNA transcription
- Transmits nerve signals to and from the brain
- Relaxes muscles to prevent twitching or spasms
- Calms adrenal glands
- Regulates glucose and Insulin
Magnesium is a safe and effective treatment for relieving the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Magnesium supplementation of 250 mg daily has shown to help by lessening bloating, cravings, cramping and reducing anxiety and sleep disturbance. Chocolate is one of the most common foods women crave right before their time of the month. Chocolate is one of the highest food sources of magnesium. Coincidence? I think not!
Ladies with Insulin Resistance (80% who have PCOS!) tend to be lacking in Magnesium as chronic insulin can reduce levels. Without enough magnesium, glucose doesn’t enter the cells in sufficient amounts – which we already have a problem with! This can cause fatigue and weight gain.
It can also lower blood pressure, reduce migraines, improves overall mood and can act as a pain reliever (I would recommend in a cream form). There are plenty of reasons here why we need Magnesium as a PCOS supplement, but how do you know if your deficient?
It’s difficult to determine as most magnesium is located in the cells. Not in the blood. Therefore, unfortunately there isn’t one good test to detect a magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include the following:
- Muscle cramping and pain
- Regular headaches or migraine headaches
- Mood changes like: anxiety, depression or irritability
- High blood Pressure
- Insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome
- Always tired and have very little energy
- Memory issues, difficulty focusing, problems maintaining attention.
- Painful menstrual periods or severe PMS
- Trouble getting to sleep or insomnia
Recommended dose – 320mg Daily.
Food sources – Avocadoes, Leafy greens, Nuts, Seeds, Beans
Zinc is an essential vitamin. This means our body doesn’t make it so we have to get it from either food, or as a PCOS supplement! It is incredibly important for cellular metabolism and many women with PCOS have elevated zinc needs – meaning we need higher volumes of it then women without PCOS.
One of the main benefits is hair loss and growth. Up to 80% of women suffer with one of these, and it’s such an upsetting condition and one I know can really affect a ladies self-esteem. It’s all due to elevated androgens. In a study I read recently, it showed that women with PCOS who had 50mg a day of elemental zinc showed dramatic improvements after 8 weeks.
An underactive Thyroid I also know many cysters suffer with. Zinc is crucial for proper thyroid hormone metabolism, and deficiency may result in decreased BMR (we already have a lowered one so we don’t want anything else to effect it!). Zinc also has shown to improve someone’s immune system, and especially after Covid-19 I am sure we are all more concerned at looking after ourselves, so we don’t get run down and sick.
Recommended dose – 8mg daily
Food sources – Oysters, Beef, Crab, Lobster, Pork, Baked Beans, Chicken, Nuts
I hope this has helped you understand a bit more about PCOS supplements and what ones actually benefit us. There are plenty more out there but we are all different, so my advice is to give them a go for a few months and be mindful of how you feel. Get in touch if you have any questions!
Lots of love as always