Resveratrol For Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
For the 5 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age who suffer with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), news that a natural supplement can address the hormone imbalance characteristic of the condition could be great news. That supplement is resveratrol, which is found in grapes, raspberries, and red wine.
What’s special about resveratrol?
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have abnormal hormone levels; specifically, higher amounts of insulin, testosterone, and other androgens (male hormones). These elevated levels are key factors in the acne, excess body hair, weight gain, infertility, and diabetes typically experienced by women with PCOS.
Resveratrol has been shown to be a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent and is produced by some plants as part of their defense against stressors such as fungi, injury, and ultraviolet irradiation. Now new research indicates for the first time how the plant compound can have a positive impact on PCOS.
Resveratrol and PCOS
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, 30 women with polycystic ovary syndrome were assigned to take either 1,500 mg of resveratrol or a placebo daily for three months. Both before treatment and after three months, blood samples were taken to measure levels of testosterone and other androgen hormones and a glucose tolerance test was performed to determine diabetes risk factors.
Here’s what the researchers discovered:
- Women who took resveratrol showed a 23.1 percent decline in testosterone levels while those in the placebo group had a 2.9 percent increase
- DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, a hormone that the body transforms into testosterone) levels declined by 22.2 percent in women who took resveratrol and rose 10.5 percent in women who took placebo
- Fasting insulin levels declined by 31.8 percent among women who took resveratrol during the three-month trial
- Women who took resveratrol also became more responsive to insulin during the study
These results suggest that resveratrol can be beneficial for women who are living with polycystic ovary syndrome. Although more research is needed, women with PCOS may want to talk to their healthcare provider about taking resveratrol.
Banaszewska B et al. Effects of resveratrol in polycystic ovary syndrome: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2016 Oct 18, published online
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