Nutrition Made Simple


August 09 2021



Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder that may include a wide variety of conditions such as prolonged or infrequent menstrual periods and in some individuals excessive production of male hormone or androgen. The presence of this condition causes the ovaries to develop follicles which inhibits the regular release of eggs and leads to menstrual irregularities. If untreated, polycystic ovarian syndrome can lead to complications like infertility, pregnancy-induced diabetes or high blood pressure, miscarriage or premature birth, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, prolonged and abnormal uterine bleeding etc.

A polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the most prevalent endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age where the most commonly occurring symptoms include the formation of ovarian cysts, irregular and painful periods, acne, hair loss, and weight gain. Some of the causative factors of polycystic ovarian syndrome include insulin resistance and the absence of hormone regulation factors. Lifestyle modifications and the use of dietary supplements help in alleviating the symptoms associated with the polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Dietary modifications

Including the right food sources and the removal of certain aggravating ingredients help in the management of symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome. A well-balanced diet can help in the regulation of hormones that are imbalanced in this condition and help in streamlining the menstrual cycle.

Whole foods 

Foods that are devoid of artificial sugars and other preservatives are known as whole foods. The whole foods which are responsible for improving the overall health of our body include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. When there is a complete absence of preservatives in our diet, the endocrine system can function better and regulates various bodily functions easily.

Balancing between carbohydrates and protein intake 

Proteins and carbohydrates are often responsible for maintaining the body’s energy as well as hormone levels. Adequate protein intake promotes the production of insulin in the body. To improve insulin sensitivity in the body, unprocessed and high carb foods should be consumed. Nuts, legumes, and whole grains are plant-based optimal sources of protein. 

Anti-inflammatory foods

A polycystic ovarian syndrome is classified as a low-level chronic inflammation. Therefore, the addition of anti-inflammatory foods to the diet help in easing the symptoms associated with the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Foods such as olive oil, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish like mackerel and tuna all are good sources of anti-inflammatory foods.

Increased iron consumption 

Many women with polycystic ovarian syndrome encounter excessive bleeding which can give rise to iron deficiency anaemia. Including iron-rich foods in the diet such as spinach, eggs, and broccoli help in providing the required iron supply in such conditions. 

Increasing the consumption of magnesium by consuming foods such as almonds, cashew, spinach, and bananas also help in the symptomatic relief in the case of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The addition of fibre to the diet helps in improving the process of digestion. Lentils, Lima beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, and avocados are all very good sources of fibre. Intake of caffeine is often associated with abnormalities in the levels of estrogen and varied hormonal disturbances. Complete avoidance of coffee if possible should be attained and replacements such as green tea can be tried out as a decaf alternative as it also helps in weight management in women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Soy products 

The addition of soy products to the diet helps in achieving hormonal balance in individuals with the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Soy has an action similar to estrogen in the body. Soy milk, tofu, miso, and tempeh are excellent sources of soy.

Many supplements are manufactured by various pharmaceutical companies which help in the symptomatic relief in patients with the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Their intake helps in hormonal regulation, insulin resistance, and inflammation associated with the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Some of the supplements include:

Inositol - Inositol is a component of vitamin B that plays a major role in improving insulin resistance. Inositol has also known to aid in fertility-related complications that occur in polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Chromium - Chromium supplements are essential in neutralizing insulin resistance by contributing to the metabolism of sugar in the body. Intake of chromium supplements also improves body mass index which helps in relieving polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Cinnamon - Regular intake of cinnamon has been found to regulate metabolism in women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome. The cinnamon extract also has a regulating effect on insulin resistance in the body.

Turmeric - Curcumin is the active ingredient present in turmeric which helps in decreasing insulin resistance and also exhibits anti-inflammatory activity which is beneficial to patients with the polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Zinc - Zinc supplements have been studied to enhance fertility and improve the action of the body’s immune system. They also have a major role to play in getting rid of excessive and unwanted hair growth and also in improving alopecia. Red meat, beans, tree nuts, and seafood are also good sources of zinc.

Evening primrose oil - Studies have shown the efficacy of evening primrose oil in alleviating period pain and in regulating the irregular menstrual cycle in individuals with the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Evening primrose oil also has a beneficial effect in improving cholesterol levels and oxidative stress which are often associated with this condition. Alvizia healthcare evening primrose oil supplements are extremely beneficial in the symptomatic relief in polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Vitamin D and calcium - Polycystic ovarian syndrome is often associated with the deficiency of vitamin D. Thus intake of vitamin D and calcium supplements help in regulating irregular periods and promote ovulation.

Cod liver oil - Vitamins D and A as well as omega - 3  fatty acids are important constituents of cod liver oil which contributes to the improvement of the irregular menstrual cycle and also helps in getting rid of the excessive fat deposits around the waist. Berberine - The intake of berberine herbs may boost up the metabolic reactions in the body and result in balancing the endocrine activity of the body. 

Maca root - Maca root is an adaptogenic herb that has an excellent effect in boosting fertility and libido. It also contributes to the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome by balancing the hormone levels and decreasing the cortisol levels. 

This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

Tagged: Evening-Primrose-Oil, Softgels, Women-Health


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