Anyone who has PCOS will know that treating or managing symptoms is highly individualized since symptoms might be different for each person. A doctor might recommend eating healthy and exercising for weight loss. Or it might be advisable to go on birth control to regulate cycles. And if one of the symptoms is hirsutism (unwanted, male-pattern hair growth), it could be helpful to take medication that can slow growth.
While there is a variety of ways to manage symptoms, another option would be to look into supplements. We asked Sarah Rueven, RD, MS, CDN, founder of Rooted Wellness, to share which supplements you might want to consider. Take a look at which nutrients she recommended, and check out our editors' picks for supplements to buy. It's important to note, though, that since symptoms are highly individualized, you'll want to discuss your supplement options with your doctor before you start taking them.
According to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin B12 helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. "Many women with PCOS are prescribed metformin, a medicine which helps combat insulin resistance," Rueven says. "Unfortunately, metformin can reduce absorption of vitamin B12 and lead to a B12 deficiency and subsequently, anemia. Women taking metformin should get their B12 levels checked regularly and consider taking a supplement."
"The supplement myoinositol has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, egg quality, and restore ovulation in women with PCOS. It may be especially beneficial for women with PCOS who are struggling to get pregnant," Rueven says.
"It is a powerful antioxidant which can help to reduce inflammation, improve insulin resistance, and balance hormones. Studies have shown that when taken with the fertility drug Clomid, NAC can help boost ovulation and fertility," Rueven says.
You need vitamin D for strong bones, as it helps the body absorb calcium. "Studies have shown that women with PCOS have higher rates of vitamin D deficiency," Rueven says. "Women with PCOS should get their vitamin D levels checked regularly and supplement as needed."
This article was published at an earlier date and has been updated.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.