Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex metabolic condition affecting between 5 and 10% of women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS often suffer from weight gain, unwanted body hair and have difficulty becoming pregnant.
Central to PCOS is a metabolic condition known as insulin insensitivity. Insulin’s job is to shuttle sugar from the blood into cells to be used as energy. Insulin insensitivity is present if the body releases insulin in response to a rise in blood sugar, but the body is deaf to the insulin released and blood sugar remains high. In an extreme form of insulin insensitivity, a person may develop diabetes.
A loss of insulin sensitivity contributes to weight gain in most people, but in women with PCOS, metabolic issues also interfere with endocrine and reproductive systems. Male hormone levels rise and inerfere with normal female hormonal cycles. Women with PCOS develop cysts on their ovaries and may become unable to ovulate, preventing pregnancy.
Researchers recently investigated vitamin D and calcium supplements as a way to diminish the effects of PCOS. In the study, women were given either metformin, a conventional drug, or metformin plus calcium and vitamin D. The calcium and vitamin D group showed significant improvement in body weight, ovulation, ovarian cysts, and fertility.
At the start of the study, 83% of participants were vitamin D deficient and 35% were severely deficient. Post treatment, 74% of the women had adequate vitamin D levels. The women were treated with 1500mg metformin plus 1000mg calcium per day and 100,000iu vitamin D per month.
Complement Ther Clin Pract, 2012.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Research and nutritional information included is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease and should not be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician before initiating any new dietary or supplement program. References available by request.