5 Supplements Every Women with PCOS Should Take

July 1, 2018

At one point, when my health was at it's worst, I was taking 12 different supplements (around 40 capsules) every single day!

 

 

Although they did help to recover my health, it was frustrating having to take so many with me when I was on a trip or out to eat. Plus I was paying a small fortune each month to order the best quality, practitioner grade supplements! (£££££)

 

 

 

 

Can you relate to this?...

 

Do you feel like you need an extra suitcase for your products when you go on holiday?

 

Or have you no idea about which vitamins, minerals or brands to even take?

 

 

As a Nutritional Therapist, I believe that food is our medicine and changing our diet should be the first step we take when trying to improve our health. Sometimes though, due to our modern lifestyles, soil depletion and stress, we require a little extra support from supplementation.

 

 

 

Supplements are designed to supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle, not replace. They aren't a quick fix and unlike medication they often take time to have an effect, as they are helping to support the body, at a cellular level.

 

 

>> FREE MASTERCLASS TRAINING: OVERCOMING PCOS ACNE <<

 

 

In this post I am going to share the top 5 supplements that I have seen to be most effective for myself personally and also my clients with PCOS.

 

Hopefully this will save you from building a supplement graveyard (the cupboard that you have which filled with half used or unopened products from years of trial and error). I know you probably have one of these! ;)

 

 

*Please note, this post is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions or symptoms. Consult with your GP or health practitioner if you are suffering with a medical condition or you are taking medication before starting supplements.*

 

 

1. Magnesium

 

Most people, not just women with PCOS, could likely benefit from magnesium supplementation. The majority of us are deficient in this mineral for many reasons including high sugar intake, stress and soil depletion. Magnesium helps with the breakdown of glucose and usage of insulin, therefore it can benefit women with PCOS struggling with high blood sugar, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance. As you probably know, stress either causes or worsens every known health condition, especially hormonal disorders such as PCOS. Magnesium is known as the 'anti-stress mineral', due to its ability to relax the nervous system, muscles and also reduce cortisol levels!

 

Foods rich in magnesium include dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, salmon, avocados and dark chocolate. A supplement containing 200-400mg is generally safe for most women with PCOS, however its important to chose the right type that will be most suitable for you. If you struggle with constipation or poor digestion/absorption then magnesium citrate is for you! Prone to loose stools, anxiety and sleep problems?...Go with magnesium glycinate. Avoid magnesium oxide as it isn't well absorbed or utilised by the body.

 

 

2. B Complex

 

When taking B vitamins, in most situations I recommend that people take a complex of the whole B vitamin family instead of single vitamins (eg just B1 or B3), to prevent any imbalances developing. Detoxification of toxins and hormones is often sluggish in women with PCOS and this can drive symptoms such as acne, weight loss resistance, period problems and digestive issues. The liver is our major organ of detoxification and it requires many nutrient co-factors, especially B vitamins.

 

Foods rich in B vitamins are meat, organ meats, eggs, fish and green leafy vegetables. You mostly find these vitamins in animal products and I recommend buying the highest quality meats, fish and eggs as possible (e.g organic, grass fed, pastured). When choosing a B complex, I recommend avoiding the supplements that contain folic acid and a type of B12 known as cyanocobalamin, instead go for the methylated types (eg methyl-folate, L-5-MTHF, methylcobalamin) as these are the active forms and more bio-available to the body.

If you aren't sure about a supplement, get in touch and i'll let you know if its worth buying!

 

 

3. Inositol

 

Also known as vitamin B8, this supplement has provided great results for women with PCOS. It has been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity, support ovulation, regulate cycles, improve egg quality and reduce androgens! It is believed that women with PCOS have lower levels of inositol as we urinate it out at a quicker rate than others.

 

Foods containing inositol are beans, nuts, vegetables and oats. The recommended supplement dose for inositol is around 4 grams per day. There are 2 types, myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol, that are often taken together in a 40:1 ratio, however I have seen good results using just myo-inositol alone. I prefer a powder rather than capsules, it doesn't taste bad promise!

 

 

>> FREE MASTERCLASS TRAINING: OVERCOMING PCOS ACNE <<

 

 

4. Zinc

 

Taking a zinc supplement can help to improve many PCOS symptoms including acne, hair loss, hirsutism, menstrual irregularities and mood fluctuations. One of the main mechanism, is that zinc helps to inhibit the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which is the enzyme that produces the potent androgen Dihydro-testosterone (DHT), which is 3x more potent than testosterone.

 

Foods such as red meat, oysters, pumpkin seeds and poultry are great sources of zinc. You should aim for 20-30mg of zinc per day. If you take higher doses than this or supplement for longer than 3 months, I recommend you find a product that also contains copper, as this will help to prevent any imbalances developing between these two minerals. Always take zinc with food as taking it on an empty stomach can cause nausea.

 

 

5. Fish oil

 

Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) are amazing at reducing inflammation and supporting overall hormone health. Insulin resistance and inflammation are the main drivers of PCOS and fish oil can improve both of these things. 

 

Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids are oily, cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring and trout (SMASHT). Plant foods like chia, flax, hemp seeds and walnuts do contain omega 3's but in the form ALA which is not converted or used efficiently within the body.

 

Aim to consume 2-3 servings of oily fish per week and try taking a supplement containing at least 1000-3000mg (1-3 grams) of omega 3 fatty acids, for the best results. It is important for your fish oil supplement to be non-toxic, pure and as high quality as possible. Yes, the good brands tend to be more expensive but you don't want to be putting old, rancid oils in your body! Top tip- if you get fishy burps after taking it or there is a strong fish smell in your supplement container, it's likely that its gone off!

 

 

 

As there are several different types of PCOS- insulin resistant, inflammatory, adrenal and post-pill PCOS- the supplements I have shared will likely benefit women in all categories, however still consult with your doctor or health practitioner first, especially if you are taking medication!

 

There are many other supplements that are known for their benefits with PCOS including saw palmetto, NAC, berberine, vitex, chromium and vitamin D. These particular nutrients are not 'one size fits all' and it depends of your personal symptoms, lab results, other health conditions and needs as to whether you should supplement with these.

 

 

In summary, supplementing your nutrient dense diet and active lifestyle with hormone balancing vitamins & nutrients is a natural and effective way to help overcome your PCOS symptoms!

 

 

 

>> FREE MASTERCLASS TRAINING: OVERCOMING PCOS ACNE <<

 

If you would like more support, access to practitioner grade supplements and a nutrition, lifestyle and supplement protocol designed for your individual PCOS needs, I'd love for you to Become A Client.

 

 

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