There are quite a few vitamins and minerals that are shown to be profoundly helpful to PCOS sufferers. As you know, each cyster has her own unique set of hormonal imbalances and issues so one supplement is not necessarily a cure-all. These are some things that have worked for me and many other women. They may or may not work for you. Be sure to chat with your herbalist, naturopath, or doctor before starting or stopping any supplements – they will know what will work best for you. And don’t be intimidated by this list! Most of these things can be found in a really good multi-vitamin (also listed).
I would like to point out that there is a strong link between gluten intolerance and mineral deficiencies. When your body cannot process gluten correctly it destroys the villi in your small intestines, deeming it unable to absorb vitamins and minerals completely. It is also common for PCOS sufferers to be gluten intolerant and also have deficiencies of the following vitamins. I honestly believe that a gluten free diet and a supplementation of the following vitamins, minerals and herbs will heal your PCOS! It worked for me! (There goes my secret.)
B vitamins – B2, B3, B5 and B6 vitamins are incredibly useful for those dealing with PCOS. B vitamins help your body process glucose, turn fat into energy and maintain a healthy hormone balance. B vitamins have successfully been used to aid healthy weight loss and have been found to be extremely beneficial in cases of PCOS weight gain, since it is directly related to the way your body deals with sugars. Try: NatureMade Super B-Complex
Chromium- Chromium encourages the formation of glucose tolerance factor (GTF) which is a substance released by the liver and required to make insulin more efficient. A deficiency of chromium can lead to insulin resistance, which is a key problem in the case of PCOS; too much insulin can be circulating but it is unable to control your blood sugar (glucose) levels. Chromium is one of the key supplements for PCOS sufferers. Try: Nature’s Way GTF Chromium
Zinc – Zinc is a key mineral that is unfortunately very hard to get from our food. It controls appetite and auto-corrects hormonal imbalances. It is also extremely important in balancing blood sugar levels. Zinc also promotes proper thyroid function. Try: Now Foods Zinc tablets
Magnesium - There is a very strong link between magnesium deficiencies and insulin resistance, which is the main culprit of PCOS. A lack of magnesium is also related to migraines which many PCOS sufferers also are plagued with. Try: Solgar Chelated Magnesium
Multivitamin - You can save yourself the time, energy and money and just buy a really good multivitamin to cover everything listed above. Some people will suggest a pre-natal vitamin, but I personally recommend Rainbow Light brand Women’s One. It covers everything you need and more.. and is super affordable.
Essential Fatty Acids – EFAs like omega-3, 6 and 9 and DHA are incredibly important to achieving and maintaining a balanced hormone system. They also help your body maintain a healthy weight. I suggest getting your EFA’s from whole food sources like nuts and avocado (my health totally changed once I started eating an avocado a day.) Try: Udo’s 3-6-9 blend is an amazing source of omegas as well.
Evening Primrose Oil - Evening Primrose Oil can help with irregular or no period. It is rich in G.L.A and linolenic acid; essential fatty acids which the body requires to regulate hormones. Evening Primrose oil also helps with heart disease, cholesterol and blood pressure. Try: Barlean’s Organic Oils Organic Evening Primrose Oil
Vitex (chaste berry or agnus castus) – Vitex is another “must have” supplement for PCOS sufferers.It is said to regulate hormones depending on your body’s specific needs. For most PCOS sufferers it would lower testosterone and prolactin and higher progesterone and estrogen. Be patient, this supplements takes up to 6 months to work! Try: Nature’s Answer Chasteberry Extract
Saw Palmetto – Research has shown that saw palmetto works as an anti-androgen, which can be very helpful given the high levels of testosterone in PCOS. Try: Now Food’s Saw Palmetto