PCOS and nutraceuticals

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a multifactorial disorder involving both endocrine and reproductive systems of women, affecting 6–10% women of reproductive age

Even though hormonal birth control pills work beautifully to control the imbalance but are not side effect free. These include perceived anxiety about hormonal exposure, feeling bloated and weight gain. This is where nutraceuticals may have a role as a first line agent

Currently, certain nutraceuticals such as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vitamin E, vitamin D, inositols, in particular myo-inositol have received the attention owing to their potential benefits in improving insulin resistance and further ameliorating the endocrine and metabolic disorders for PCOS management

A meta-analysis involving >1000 patients in 23 published articles following findings were highlights for the benefit of women with PCOS

The analysis showed that, a significantly higher efficacy than physical activity in terms of at least one of the following parameters: sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) testosterone, free insulin and cholesterol levels

CoQ10, vitamin E, CoQ10 + vitamin E and inositols seemed significantly more efficacious than exercise in lowering testosterone levels.

Vitamin E might be the most successful agent among these treatments.

Vitamin E and inositols were associated with positive effects on SHBG

CoQ10 and inositols were found to have positive effects on fasting insulin compared exercise

This meta-analysis is the first one to show that vitamin E supplementation at the dose of 400 U/days for 8 weeks is helpful in improving Testosterone and SHBG levels in PCOS.

CoQ10, given for a minimum treatment period of 8 weeks, is beneficial in improving glucose metabolism in PCOS women


2021, VOL. 37, NO. 12, 1063–1071