Part 5: Managing PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
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PCOS Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals  

Part 5 of a 5 part series to explore PCOS supplements and the best PCOS diet and nutrition tips (written by Teagan Evans, University of Alberta Student in the Nutrition and Food Science program at the University of Alberta and reviewed by our Health Stand Nutrition Dietitian Team).  

Best PCOS Supplements

If you have been following our series on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) so far, you will have learned about the hormonal changes, associated conditions, the effect PCOS has on fertility and planning a healthy PCOS diet. If you’ve missed our previous 4 articles on the PCOS diet you can review them here: 

For the final article of our Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome series, we will feature PCOS supplements, vitamins and minerals recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle. These can help manage internal changes occurring in your body when diagnosed with PCOS. As a result of increased androgen levels and other factors such as weight concerns and insulin resistance, many internal changes are occurring.  

Read on to learn more about the role of vitamins, minerals and supplements in helping manage PCOS. 

Vitamin B12 

Vitamin B12 is incredibly important for many body functions – such as maintaining healthy red blood cells, growth and development, and nervous system maintenance. Vitamin B12 is one of the common vitamins recommended for PCOS because of the associated consequences and health outcomes that can occur as a result of imbalanced hormones.  

Many women with PCOS have insulin sensitivity issues and vitamin B12 has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. A scientific study focusing on the connections between insulin resistance and vitamin B12 concluded that women with PCOS and who were overweight had lower levels of vitamin B12 in their body. When compared to women who did not have insulin resistance, vitamin B12 levels were significantly lower in women with insulin resistance. These results suggest that vitamin B12 can have positive influences on insulin resistance in women with PCOS.  

 Vitamin B12 can be found in everyday foods such as dairy products, fish, and fortified plant-based beverages. Dietitians of Canada recommend females over the age of 19 should consume 2.4mcg/day.   

Vitamin B12: Vitamins for PCOS


 Myo-inositol is a popular PCOS supplement consumed to help manage PCOS symptoms, infertility, and associated conditions. It is comprised of sugars that belong to the “inositol” family and has significance in PCOS because it is a precursor to an important messenger compound for insulin and female sex hormones.  Studies have found positive connections between myo-inositol and reduction of insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism, however, the connections are still somewhat unknown. Some studies also showed evidence of reducing harmful cholesterol levels and improving fertility in women with PCOS.  

Myo-inositol is a PCOS supplement found in many health food stores and is part of the FDA’s approved list of substances that are considered safe. However, it is very important to discuss all supplements with your Physician and Dietitian prior to consumption to ensure it is safe to consume.  

Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

The addition of omega-3 fatty acids to any diet is a great idea as they help with brain function, eyesight, nerve function, immune system maintenance, and can contribute to reducing your risk of heart disease. In women who have PCOS, omega-3 fatty acids have shown positive implications for reduction of metabolic syndrome risks and a decrease in cholesterol levels. Interestingly, there has been some research completed to determine the effects of omega-3’s on the abnormal genetics that result in PCOS.  

Since PCOS has a somewhat unknown origin of disease, the full link between omega-3’s and PCOS genetics is unable to be determined at this point. However, there are promising results for an increase in omega-3 consumption and regulation of genetic abnormalities.   

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, and some fortified foods.   

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: vegetable oil, fish, nuts


Magnesium is a highly beneficial supplement for PCOS due to the link between adequate magnesium consumption and improved insulin resistance. Magnesium has many important roles within your body and is required for DNA synthesis, is a cofactor for many enzymes, and can contribute to helping you sleep better. In relation to insulin resistance, magnesium has a positive correlation to improving the insulin sensitivity of individuals due to magnesium’s actions in glucose metabolism.    

Magnesium is found in dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, potatoes, beans, and depending on where you live, your water supply. It is recommended that women should not consume more than 320mg/day from supplements as this can lead to gastrointestinal upsets and negative side effects.  

Coenzyme Q10 

 Coenzyme Q10 is a very popular PCOS supplement in the market as it has heart health benefits. It has been studied for helping improve PCOS symptoms and there is evidence that it can help improve fertility and reduce insulin resistance. A randomized control trial found that over the course of 12 weeks, women who supplemented with coenzyme Q10 had improved insulin levels and glucose metabolism 

Coenzyme Q10 has also been associated with improving fertility in women. Researchers have found that women who supplemented with coenzyme Q10 showed improved ovarian health and reproductive abilities. Coenzyme Q10 is found in a variety of foods, such as oily fish,  whole grains, and some nuts and seeds.    

PCOS supplement - Coenzyme Q10


Zinc, similar to magnesium, has numerous roles in your body and is essential for many enzymes, reactions, and proper cell development and growth. It is also related to building a strong and healthy immune system. In relation to PCOS, zinc influences glucose metabolism and can improve the functionality of insulin. Studies have found that women who were deficient in zinc have higher levels of insulin resistance and weight concerns.  

Dietitians of Canada recommends that women over the age of 19 should consume 8mg of zinc per day. This amount is very easy to obtain through a balanced diet as zinc can be found in meats and shellfish, some dairy products, and legumes.  

Support and Education on PCOS Supplements and NutritionPCOS supplement

Throughout the entire Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome series, we have discussed what PCOS is, what biological changes occur, and how you can manage symptoms and conditions through optimal dietary choices.  

If you are looking into making dietary changes to help manage PCOS or any other conditions, it is strongly recommended to work with a PCOS Dietitian and your Physician to create a plan that will work for you.  We can help! Find out more here: Nutrition Counseling for PCOS 


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