Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Natasha Evans, Naturopath, Bacchus Marsh
20th August 2016
Dietary supplementation has achieved better results than pharmaceutical treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (POS).
In a 2010 study, Raffone et al looked at 120 patients with PCOS, who had experienced 14-16 months of infertility. The study compared the insulin sensitizing drug Metformin, and the dietary supplement inositol in terms of their ability to re-establish ovulation, and achieve pregnancy. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 1500mg/day metformin, or 4000mg/day of inositol plus 400mcg of folic acid daily.
Dietary supplementation can assist with re-establishing ovulation.
The results showed that in the metformin treatment group, 50% of subjects restored spontaneous ovulation and 18.3% of these went on to achieve pregnancy. In the inositol plus folic acid group however, 65% restored spontaneous ovulation and 30% of these achieved pregnancy.
This study shows a statistically significant difference in the restoration of spontaneous ovulation in women taking inositol over the standard pharmacological treatment metformin.
“This study shows a statistically significant difference in the restoration of spontaneous ovulation in women taking inositol…”
This study supports the success of the dietary approach to PCOS that natural therapists use. In PCOS, insulin sensitivity is decreased and it is often being secreted in high amounts (Hyperinsulinaemia). To counteract this a nice clean diet rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats containing foods such as lean meats, fish, wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds will be a vital first step to regaining control of insulin sensitivity, and in turn, the reproductive hormones.
The right food can assist with insulin sensitivity.
So what is Inositol? It is a form of soluble fibre and is categorized under the B-group vitamins. You will find inositol in B-vitamin supplements and the following foods: Liver, cabbage, brown rice, oats, wheat germ, beef heart, nuts, bananas, raisins, grapefruit and unrefined molasses.
Reference: Raffone E, Rizzo P, Benedetto V. Insulin sensitiser agents alone and in co-treatment with r-FSH for ovulation induction in PCOS women. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010;26(4)275-280