• Letisha Hodges

What's the Best Vitamin for PCOS?

If you're dealing with PCOS, then you know that your health is a top priority. You're likely always looking for ways to improve your condition and alleviate your symptoms.

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So which vitamin is the best for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

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Turns out, it might be something you're already taking every day!


In this post, we'll explore the benefits of taking a common vitamin supplement and how it can help improve your PCOS symptoms.


Keep reading to learn more!






What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is common hormonal and reproductive condition that involves multiple organs as well as a part of the brain, the hypothalamus.


Polycystic ovary syndrome affects ~6-10% of women and typical PCOS symptoms as insulin resistance, irregular periods, infertility, high androgen levels, as well as cysts on the ovaries.



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Other polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms

Other pcos symptoms may include hair loss, fatigue, acne, excess hair growth, and mood changes.



It can also make it harder for people to get pregnant and can negatively affect their mental health if left untreated.



It’s vitamin D!

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for women with polycystic ovary syndrome.


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Figure 1 (Thomson, 2012).

Vitamin D for PCOS


Low vitamin D status is very common in women with PCOS

There are a few studies examining vitamin D levels in women with polyovary syndrome which found an inverse relationship between vitamin D and metabolic risk factors such as insulin resistance or higher BMI.

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What is the cause of low vitamin in women with PCOS?

We do not know exactly why this happens and it is a chicken or the egg question right now.

Vitamin D is involved in insulin sensitivity but it is not known whether low vitamin D levels are the result of a higher BMI or a higher BMI causes low vitamin D levels.

Which PCOS Symptoms Does Vitamin D Improve?

Outside of insulin resistance, low levels of vitamin D are also involved with other aspects of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome such as heart disease risk factors, weight gain, chronic inflammation, infertility, irregular menstrual periods, and higher levels of free testosterone causing acne and excess hair growth.


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More interventional studies are needed to determine the effects of vitamin D supplementation on pregnancy outcomes, menstrual cycle, and insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) before we can confidently prescribe a treatment dose or protocol.



Who Should Take vitamin D Based on Types of PCOS?

I often recommend vitamin D supplements to my clients with PCOS symptoms, especially since many of my clients struggle with insulin resistance, facial and body hair, chronic inflammation, and higher androgen levels.

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How Much vitamin D Should You Take for Insulin Resitant PCOS?

I usually recommend that clients taking 1000-2000 units of vitamin D3 from all supplement sources but if you are interested in taking vitamin D, it is best you discuss this with your dietitian or doctor first and be sure you do not take more than the recommended amount.

There is such a thing as too much vitamin D so be careful! Do not take more than 4000 units of vitamin D from supplements unless directered by your doctor.

Some women with PCOS have vitamin D deficiency which can be diagnosed by a blood test.


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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome & Vitamin D Summary

If you’re like most women with PCOS, then you have probably been told that your symptoms are just something you have to live with.


But what if I told you that there are steps you can take to lessen the impact of PCOS symptoms?




In this blog post we looked at the role of vitamin D in PCOS and how supplementation may help improve some of the common PCOS symptoms.


I always recommend starting with diet and lifestyle changes before turning to supplements, but if you’re struggling with insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, excess body hair, hair loss, androgen excess, then vitamin D supplementation may be a good place to start.


And don’t forget – if you want more tailored advice for your unique situation, reach out for a free clarity call!

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References:

Thomson, R. L., Spedding, S., & Buckley, J. D. (2012). Vitamin D in the aetiology and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Clinical endocrinology, 77(3), 343–350. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2012.04434.x

Wehr, E., Pilz, S., Schweighofer, N., Giuliani, A., Kopera, D., Pieber, T. R., & Obermayer-Pietsch, B. (2009). Association of hypovitaminosis D with metabolic disturbances in polycystic ovary syndrome, European Journal of Endocrinology, 161(4), 575-582. Retrieved Feb 7, 2022, from https://eje.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/eje/161/4/575.xm


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