We can address PCOD or PCOS as a new women pandemic. According to womenshealth.gov, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility.
Till date, modern medical science does not have a well-defined cause and hence a well-defined treatment for PCOD.
Now, majorly you have two ways to cure your PCOD. One is through medications and the other is that you improve your lifestyle which is considered to be the root cause of PCOD.
In this article, you are going to read about supplements for PCOD.
Well, you must also know that supplements alone are not going to help you in any way. PCOD is a lifestyle defect and it can be fully reversed. The only condition is that you will have to follow certain habits religiously.
To know more about reversing your PCOD naturally consider reading this article – PCOS and effective ways to cure it naturally.
To know about the PCOD diet read this article- PCOD diet for weight loss
Let’s begin with our supplements list.
What are supplements?
Supplements could be in the form of
- Trace elements
The kind of supplements which we will be discussing in this article are
- Powerful antioxidants
- Known to improve insulin resistance
- Help in weight loss
A big word of caution
Supplements for PCOD
Here are a few supplements which work very well for PCOS / PCOD. It helps to reverse the symptoms and heal your reproductive system.
No 1 on the list is-
1. Vitamin D
85% of PCOD patients have vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is not just a vitamin but also a hormone and plays an important role in many hormonal processes in the body.
It is important for reproductive and ovarian health.
Vitamin D helps us to lower inflammation, reduce insulin resistance, improve fertility, ovulation and also helps us with mental issues like depression, anxiety, mood swings etc.
Unfortunately, Vitamin D is not present in the food in good amounts so we have to rely on external supplementation.
The daily recommended dose of Vitamin D is 400-800 IU units per day.
You can also get Vitamin D if you expose yourself for 20 minutes every morning in the sun in an unprotected way.
2. Vitamin B
The next most important supplement is Vitamin B-Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and folate.
Most of the drugs which are used in PCOD like contraceptive pills or metformin cause deficiency of Vitamin B12.
So it is very important to take supplements of Vitamin B12. Also, Vitamin B12 supplementation decreases the homocysteine levels, which are known to improve reproductive function.
Food sources of Vitamin B12
- Green leafy vegetables
Magnesium is actually the superhero mineral for PCOD and it participates in about 300 functions of our cells but it gets leached out very easily when we are stressed out or we have gut imbalances or hormonal imbalances.
So, it gets very important to replenish magnesium.
It can help you with better sleep, better gut health. It lowers inflammation, lowers insulin resistance, it also improves muscle health, relaxes the muscles, reduces anxiety, cramping in the body.
It also acts as a mild laxative and gives you relief from constipation thereby helping you release all the toxins from your body.
It’s very easy to get your magnesium from
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Green leafy vegetables
These are anti-inflammatory, they are known to reduce insulin levels, decrease cholesterol levels, blood pressure they also reduce leptin levels.
Leptin is actually a hormone that makes you fat.
Omega-3 improves brain health, prevent moodiness, depression anxiety, improve heart health and also works on our hormonal health which is very very important for PCOD reversal.
Omega-3 can be included in our diet through flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts or you can opt for a good quality supplement of omega-3 to help you with benefits and to improve your PCOD symptoms.
Zinc is a trace element that is known to help infertility and immune function. It decreases the cholesterol level, improves insulin resistance and also aids in weight loss.
Zinc is a great anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic mineral which means it helps to lower male hormones thereby helping in reducing acne, hirsutism, hair loss etc.
It helps to repair the intestinal tract which is very important for PCOD health especially if you’ve been taking hormonal birth control pills or you have digestive issues.
Zinc deficiency can be common so it’s important to include zinc-rich foods like whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds etc or take a good quality supplement.
Chromium is something that is known to decrease BMI. It is known to reduce the free androgen levels and insulin levels in the body. It is usually available in the form of chromium picolinate.
Do talk to your doctor before taking any chromium supplements.
Chromium is abundantly present in
You should consume these food items in an adequate amount.
Inositols are compounds that are similar to glucose and they are already present in many food items. Inositols are a relative of the Vitamin B family and it is known to reduce insulin resistance by improving the insulin sensitivity of the cell receptors which then helps to lower testosterone.
It improves ovulation, reduces anxiety and helps in weight loss. Basically, it’s one of the best alternatives for metformin in the most natural way without any side effects. So ask your practitioner for a good inositol supplement for you.
Nowadays we say that the gut is the new brain!
Gut health is everything and taking care of the bacteria in our gut determines our health. When you have a good amount of good bacteria in your gut you have less inflammation, less insulin resistance, you have better fertility, better ovulation, lesser PMS symptoms.
Your irregular menstrual cycles become regular.
You have hormonal balance and you lose weight easily so it’s super important to work on your gut microbiome by including prebiotic-rich foods like raw onion, bananas, garlic, a lot of fibre-rich fruits and vegetables.
You can look out for a good probiotic supplement with a minimum of 20 billion CFUs with different kinds of strains that can help you re-inoculate your gut bacteria in a good way.
9. Adaptogens and Herbs
Adaptogens are herbs or supplements which enhance your body’s ability to respond and deal with stress.
It lowers the cortisol levels especially in people who are very physically, mentally or emotionally stressed out, who are very overactive and who don’t sleep well.
These herbs are ashwagandha, Shatavari, amla, tulsi, moringa etc.
All of these can help you with your stress levels and there are other herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, ajwain, coriander seeds, elaichi etc all of which help with gut health and hormonal health.
You can use these herbs in preparing your regular tea. You can also use these herbs as additives in your food.
Many PCOD patients have anaemia because of the heavy periods. So in case your iron levels are less or if your haemoglobin is less, do talk to your doctor and you can take iron supplements.
Regulating iron levels is important for reducing fatigue, treating anaemia, and boosting immunity, among many other health benefits.
Add these iron-rich foods to your diet
11. Evening primrose oil
It is anti-inflammatory, improves insulin resistance, helps with period cramps and ovulation disorders.
Evening primrose oil is easily available and commonly used for PCOD patients.
So a fair amount of information is available about these supplements but concrete research in an evidence-based format is yet not available about these supplements.
Beware of supplements that make tall claims.
These supplements can play a massive role but we need to remember one thing that not all supplements are created equally and not all are of great quality.
So depending on your cause and symptoms you need to choose the right kind quantity and quality of supplements so that they can help you with your health.
With so many brands and so much information about supplements out there, it can be daunting to navigate the supplements and find the right one for you.
So always take the help of a practitioner or a doctor or a nutritionist to guide you with what supplement suits best for you. Do not try to self assess and start any supplements just on your own.