PCOS – complementary supplementation

In one of my previous articles, I described the matter of supplementation in case of supporting the treatment of polycystic ovaries. However, I only described there the basic products, which are the core of supplementation procedures. I also underlined that there are other products, which can be included in diet. In this article I will take care of this issue.

You should definitely read:

PCOS, i.e. PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome – key information – part I

PCOS – basic supplementation

Short reminder

As you know, PCOS is an ailment, which consists of multiple disorders that influence many health parameters, such as reproductive and metabolic functions, as well as the matter of appearance and mood. The treatment of PCOS is based on proper pharmaceutical and dietetic strategies. I will not describe them here, because I already wrote about them in other articles with the links below:



There's no doubt that supplementation also matters during treatment of this ailment. Products containing the following components may be very useful:

  • inositol,

  • vitamin D,

  • calcium,

  • omega 3 fatty acids.

You can find out more about those components in this article – PCOS – basic supplementation.


One of the substances, which may be extremely useful in supporting the treatment of PCOS, is N-acetylcysteine (NAC). It is an acetylated form of one of the amino acids, which build proteins – cysteine. It is widely used in medicine and supplementation. It is used in the disorders of respiratory tract as a mycolytic agent (diluting secretion), as well as a kind of “antidote” in case of paracetamol overdose. It also shows influence on the nervous system (influence on NMDA receptors) and it protects the liver. Apart from the mentioned properties, this amino acid is also a strong antioxidant.

A study, in which the supplementation with this amino acid was compared to supplementation with methformin, brings interesting data in the matter of influence of using NAC by women with PCOS. 100 women took part in the trial, one part of the volunteers received methformin (500mg three times a day), the other part received NAC (600mg three times a day) for 24 weeks. Both procedures occurred to be equally efficient in body fat reduction, lowering insulinemia, lowering the symptoms of hirsutism, lowering the level of free testosterone and restoring menstruation.

The information suggesting that NAC is specifically advantageous in connection with arginine, is also very inetersting.


Selenium is an element, which is supplied with food in a form of so-called selenium amino acids. Selenomethionine is probably the spare form, whereas selenocysteine is a component of glutathione peroxidase, deiodinase and selenoproteins P and W (their functions have not been revealed yet). Insufficiency of this element causes disorder of detoxication processes, which may lead to damaging such organs, as kidneys or liver. Unfortunately, we live on soil poor in selenium and its supply is often too low comparing to the body's demand.

Research shows that proper supply of selenium is very important in case of PCOS. In randomized, double-blinded, controlled experiment it was revealed that the intake of 200mcg of selenium by women diagnosed with PCOS positively influences the insulin and lipid economy. The result was noticed after 8 weeks of supplementation.


The role of zinc in the human body is very important – this element is included in approximately 200 enzymes and, thanks to this, it takes part in almost all the metabolic processes, such as e.g. protein synthesis, hormones production, immune mechanisms, etc. Insufficiency of this element is more rare than that of selenium, however, it may also occur.

There is evidence, in a form of scientific studies, which poits out, that zinc supplementation in a dose of 50mg per day may be helpful in lowering some adverse consequences of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The advantages of supplementation, most of all, include:

  • lower blood sugar on empty stomach,

  • decrease of insulin level,

  • improvement of insulin sensibility,

  • decrease of triglycerides level,

  • lowering the level of VLDL.


Supplementation may be helpful as a support of treatment of PCOS. Apart from products containing inositol, vitamin D, fish oil and calcium, also products containing selenium, zinc and acetylated cysteine are beneficial.