You see a lot of social media posts about the best supplements for PCOS, but should you just blindly take all of them? The answer is NOPE! You should work with a dietitian or other healthcare provider to make sure these supplements are right for you.
In some cases they may even have contraindications with other supplements or meds you’re taking! Here’s the rundown on some popular PCOS supplements that you can talk to your healthcare provider about:
Inositol for PCOS
Inositol is one of the most effective and popular supplements for PCOS. It helps improve insulin sensitivity. In other words, it helps your body take sugar into cells more efficiently. It has been compared to metformin in studies and shown to be as effective at lowering insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone, and it is affected by the high testosterone associated with PCOS, so Inositol can help get those hormones back in balance. That said, it may not be for everyone. Some folks don’t even have insulin resistance with their PCOS in which case, this wouldn’t be the right call. You can also do a lot to balance blood sugar through diet.
Coenzyme Q10 for PCOS
This supplement has been shown in some studies to help with egg quality and metabolism. It can also be anti-inflammatory, but it may not be as beneficial if you’re not trying to conceive.
Curcumin for PCOS-related Inflammation
Curcumin is the highly anti-inflammatory component of turmeric. It can be really useful if you have lots of inflammation, but it isn’t great if you take too much or aren’t experiencing notable inflammation.
Magnesium for PCOS
Magnesium helps with sleep, muscle relaxation and bowel regularity, but for some it can cause diarrhea or discomfort. It’s also been shown to reduce PMS symptoms in some studies.
Omega 3 Fats for PCOS
Omega 3 fats are shown to be anti-inflammatory, help support brain health, heart health, hormone health and fertility, so they can definitely be helpful for PCOS. That said, only specific kinds are well-absorbed. DHA and EPA are the kinds that are most important for PCOS, but you can only get them from fish and algae. It’s helpful to have someone review the kind and brand you’re using.
Vitamin D for PCOS
Vitamin D has been more and more linked to hormone health, but it’s tough to get enough through sunshine and food, so I do recommend most folks take it, especially if they live in a less sunny place. Dosage is important, and many companies make supplements that have too much or too little, so it’s good to check with your healthcare provider on this.
A Good Multivitamin for PCOS
While you can get a lot of nutrients from food, and food is always the best way, sometimes we need a little boost. That’s where a good multivitamin can come in. That said, you need to find one that works for you and has the nutrients you’re lacking.
PCOS Supplements to Toss
There’s not a lot of evidence behind some of the popular supplements out there like ashwaghanda, other adaptogens and high doses of antioxidants like vitamin C. B vitamins also get a lot of hype, and while they’re important, they’re also water soluble, which means you end up peeing out any excess. Many of these vitamins can be gotten through diet, which is the best most absorbably way to get them. Berberine also has a lot of hype but not a lot of evidence.
Who is qualified to help you decide on the best supplements? Dietitians and other healthcare workers. Not influencers. I help my clients audit the supplements they’re taking and figure out which ones are best for them. That way they’re not spending a bunch of money on unnecessary products or worse, compromising their health with them! For help choosing the right supplements for you, book a free nutrition chat.