Matthew Messer

Matthew Messer


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an unpleasant set of symptoms affecting women of childbearing age. The name refers to the small, liquid-filled cysts appearing in the ovaries. Women with PCOS have irregular menstrual cycles and their levels of certain male hormones might rise.

It’s much more difficult for women with PCOS to conceive, but a diagnosis is important for other reasons as well. This syndrome usually goes hand in hand with insulin resistance and increased inflammation which increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Why can vitamin E be efficient?

Having a healthy diet and doing appropriate exercise are essential in PCOS treatment, however, a new meta-analysis focused on the efficiency of vitamin E supplementation.

Apart from being anti-inflammatory, vitamin E constitutes an important part of the body’s antioxidant defence. The original Greek meaning of the word tocopherol (vitamin E) is ’to carry a pregnancy’. It was given after observations showed what an important role it played in fertility.

Since vitamin E can help reduce inflammation and has a beneficial effect on the female hormone system numerous research studies have examined whether its supplementation can help in PCOS treatment. 12 of these tests were selected for a meta-analysis published in April.

What benefits does vitamin E supplementation have?

  • Hormone system: Vitamin E supplementation decreased women’s testosterone level and increased their progesterone. It’s very beneficial because an excessive testosterone level is one of the main problems in PCOS.
  • Insulin resistance: Vitamin E supplementation lowered the level of HOMA IR that serves to diagnose insulin resistance. It also lowered the level of insulin so it improved the participants’ insulin sensitivity.
  • Oxidative stress: Vitamin E reduced MDA values which indicate the extent of oxidative stress and increased the level of several important antioxidants in the body.
  • Lipid profile: LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels significantly dropped thanks to vitamin E intake.

Let’s not forget about other important substances

During most tests, beside vitamin E the participants also supplemented other beneficial substances which might have attributed to the favourable results. These substances were omega 3 fatty acids, coenzyme Q10 and magnesium. In addition to lifestyle change and adequate vitamin E intake the supplementation of these could help treating PCOS

Tefagh, G., Payab, M., Qorbani, M. et al. Effect of vitamin E supplementation on cardiometabolic risk factors, inflammatory and oxidative markers and hormonal functions in PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome): a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Sci Rep 12, 5770 (2022).

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