Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with irregular menstrual periods, infertility, obesity, diabetes, excess hair growth, acne, and other hormonal difficulties. Research shows that women with PCOS have an increased susceptibility to elevated insulin levels.
In a new study published six days ago in Cell Journal, researchers demonstrated that oral quercetin supplementation improves the metabolic features of PCOS patients by upregulating adiponectin and Amp-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Adiponectin signaling regulates fatty acid metabolism and glucose by activation of AMPK.
Pharmaceutical interventions provide some improvements but they do not correct many of the underlying factors and have side effects that may not be tolerated by patients. In addition, many PCOS patients are overweight and have dietary habits that exacerbate the condition.
This randomized clinical trial consisted of 84 patients with PCOS. They were randomly assigned to two groups. One group received 500 mg quercetin twice daily for 12 weeks and other group received a placebo. As a result, researchers demonstrated that oral quercetin supplementation significantly increased the expression of adiponectin receptors and AMPK. Quercetin supplementation enhanced AMPK level by 12.3% compared with the placebo group.
Other Nutrients to Consider to Support PCOS
Studies have shown that an inositol deficiency is common in women with PCOS. A distinctive characteristic feature of PCOS is a reduced ability to process, metabolize, and effectively use inositol from foods. As a result, the nutritional requirements of PCOS patients may not be met by a simple change in the diet and, thus, inositol should be viewed as a conditionally essential nutrient in these women.
Myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol are both essential forms of inositol for patients with PCOS. The conversion of myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol is of interest because errors here have been strongly involved in PCOS patients.
Strong evidence supports that the body makes D-chiro-inositol from myo-inositol and more evidence suggests that some people are less able to make this conversion than others. Along this spectrum, people who are completely unable to convert myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol are only going to benefit from supplementation with D-chiro-inositol.
Other people who make the conversion, but with less than optimal efficiency, may benefit from large doses of myo-inositol. And, other individuals in between, might see the best results from a blend of the two. Since this conversion is impaired in individuals with PCOS, it is important to always include D-chiro-inositol with myo-inositol supplementation. D-chiro-inositol is the more potent form of inositol for supporting insulin resistance, however, myo-inositol is need for oocyte quality and maturation.
Therefore, supplementing with D-chiro-inositol alone cannot not fulfill myo-inositol’s roles that are specific and different from D-chiro-inositol, since it does not convert to myo-inositol.
Essential fatty acids are another consideration in PCOS. EFAs should be consumed in our diets for overall health, but most individuals with insulin resistance are deficient. Fish oils help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.
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Source: M. Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS, Rezvan N, Moini A, et al. Oral Quercetin Supplementation Enhances Adiponectin Receptor Transcript Expression in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Patients: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Clinical Trial. Cell Journal. 2018 Jan;19(4):627-633. doi: 10.22074/cellj.2018.4577. Epub 2017 Nov 4.
Dr. Aristotle Economou