PCOS

PCOS and Vitamin D

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder characterized by excess male hormones, irregular menstrual cycles and so-called cysts (immature oocytes) in ovaries. The symptoms of PCOS include excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), male pattern hair loss, acne, weight gain, difficulties with fertility, increased anxiety and depression. On a metabolic level, many patients suffer from insulin resistance. Then, the body does not respond properly to signals by the blood sugar hormone insulin, it is quasi resistant to it.

New results now reveal: It is possible that vitamin D, or rather its absence, is involved in the development of insulin resistance in PCOS. In 2015, two review articles analyzed data from a couple of thousand women. Independently, authors of both studies came to the conclusion that vitamin D levels were associated with metabolic and hormonal disturbances in PCOS patients. The lower the vitamin D levels were, the greater the risk of insulin resistance (He et al, 2015, Jia et al, 2015).

Particularly alarming: in many industrial nations, up to 91 % of women fail to take up the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D.

Based on this data, PCOS-patients are recommended to have their vitamin D status checked regularly and supplement vitamin D as needed.

Meanwhile, there are also special supplements for PCOS patients available, that contain a combination of highly dosed vitamin D and other micronutrients important in PCOS (e.g. Fertilovit®F PCOS).

References:

He C, Lin Z, Robb SW, Ezeamama AE. Serum Vitamin D Levels and Polycystic Ovary syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2015 Jun 8;7(6):4555-77. doi: 10.3390/nu7064555.

Jia XZ, Wang YM, Zhang N, Guo LN, Zhen XL, Li H, Wei L. Effect of vitamin D on clinical and biochemical parameters in polycystic ovary syndrome women: A meta-analysis. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2015 Nov;41(11):1791-802. doi: 10.1111/jog.12793. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

About the author

Dr. rer. nat. Birgit Wogatzky

Dr. rer. nat. Birgit Wogatzky

For many years now, biologist and nutritionist Dr Birgit Wogatzky, has been focusing on the special needs of fertility patients. For the readers of this blog, she sums up interesting novel information and developments from current research projects regarding lifestyle and nutrition of fertility patients.

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