Supplementation is beneficial to everyone to ensure that we aren’t deficient in any important minerals. So, PCOS women will want essential elements for the body to help relieve different symptoms and discomfort.
Zinc is a primary mineral that we require in our daily diets. PCOS women are found to be very susceptible to zinc deficiency. To help them reduce the deficiency and decrease the severity of the condition, doctors usually suggest zinc for PCOS.
Zinc helps to reduce insulin resistance and testosterone levels. So, PCOS women can control blood sugar and their overall menstrual cycle. This further increases their fertility rate. Since they are more deficient in zinc than regular women, doctors prescribe around 50mg of zinc daily.
So, is zinc the supplement that you should get right away? Continue here to learn about different zinc supplements, the correct dose, and some benefits of zinc.
How Are Zinc and PCOS Related?
Patients with PCOS can have zinc deficiency, but it might also occur for other reasons. Nevertheless, zinc is a vital mineral for the body with various benefits, including testosterone enhancement and libido improvement.
Zinc, in particular, helps PCOS women a lot. You will find a reduction or improvement in multiple symptoms, particularly alopecia and hirsutism, with a 50 mg daily dose. Although zinc alone can’t do anything to solve this issue, it’s still a great addition to your diet and treatment.
Besides the problems with PCOS, zinc is also a recommended supplement for other conditions like diabetes. If you have PCOS and diabetes, zinc might make your life more comfortable.
Check whether creatine triggers or helps PCOS.
Is It Ok to Take Zinc for PCOS?
Zinc is hardly found to have any adverse effects on the body, whether taken as a supplement or via foods. Rather, treating or improving various diseases, including PCOS, is highly beneficial. Moreover, zinc is also useful in treating the leading cause of PCOS in the first place.
But you also need to maintain a proper anti-inflammatory diet. Besides, take control of your lifestyle to remain balanced, stress-free, and hygienic.
PCOS and Zinc Deficiency
Although zinc deficiency can happen for various reasons, it is more common for PCOS women than for others. For patients with common PCOS symptoms like
- Hair loss
- Mood swings
- Infertility, and
Zinc deficiency is said to be the first and most accurate predictor of PCOS than BMI or cholesterol levels. Oral contraceptives that are prescribed don’t remove zinc deficiency, so you still need other zinc sources.
So, if left untreated, the symptoms will worsen over time. Low levels of zinc also cause complicated metabolic reactions for which you might suffer from digestive disorders or tiredness. So, among the many drugs and treatments prescribed, you also need zinc.
Zinc Supplements for PCOS
You don’t need to take zinc regularly or in high doses. Instead, this can have adverse effects, such as the absorption of other minerals and vitamins. Besides, it isn’t easy to store zinc. So, around 15 to 30 mg daily is good enough, even for pregnant women, while PCOS women can have up to 40 mg.
Taking zinc 1 to 2 hours after meals and at a different time from calcium and iron is an excellent practice for better absorption. Always take supplements that are approved and recommended by doctors. Be careful about the prescribed dosage, depending on your condition.
Sometimes, doctors also suggest taking Magnesium-Zinc-Calcium-Vitamin D Co-supplementation for better results. Look for those zinc supplements with compounds like gluconate, citrate, sulfate, glycinate, orotate, or picolinate.
Some popular zinc brands are taken and recommended for PCOS:
This has zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. All of them are responsible for better reproductive health, control of hormonal levels, and reduction of PMS symptoms. So, your overall metabolism is highly improved, along with increased fertility. You also get antioxidants for stronger immunity.
Another mineral and vitamin supplement for maintaining the body’s insulin. This one thing will take care of the rest of the symptoms of PCOS, like blood sugar, hormonal imbalance, ovarian functions, irregular cycles, unwanted hair, etc. So, taking all these together in a single capsule is a natural and safe way to have normal bodily function again.
Apart from the everyday problems of PCOS like irregular menstrual cycles, acne, unwanted hair, and severe PMS symptoms, this zinc supplement, with other elements, take care of some other discomforts like sleep disorder, bloating, weight gain, or cramps. So, a perfect blend of minerals and vitamins together for a healthier lifestyle for PCOS patients.
In this one, you get zinc and some essential vitamins, which support your immune system to keep off diseases. Besides, they also help with a healthier reproductive system and a balanced cycle.
This one is for better immunity with various antioxidants. Each capsule will offer enough nutrients to strengthen the defense system. So, you can relieve the severity of diseases like diabetes or heart problems.
A pure zinc supplement to improve overall health and improve immunity. You will have healthier skin and eyes and stronger muscles and tissues. It also allows white blood cells to function better and fight off diseases. Besides, it has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce inflammation.
Zinc Benefits For PCOS
Zinc does good to the body, and the good news is that the benefits are a lot!
Controls Blood Sugar
PCOS patients produce a lot of insulin, which makes them susceptible to diabetes. This excess insulin also leads to increased testosterone levels. Zinc will reduce insulin amount and control glucose levels. This will, in turn, solve the testosterone problem in ovaries and help control diabetes.
Fix Ovulation Problems
We need zinc for developing follicles in the ovaries. The ovarian cycle will be maintained when you have sufficient zinc to fix fertility problems.
Hirsutism is a common symptom of PCOS and a difficult one to resolve. Zinc, however, does help to decrease androgens and testosterone levels. This will help to improve hirsutism easily.
PCOS also means skin full of acne. By having enough zinc, you will find that acne is decreasing, and the skin gets clear.
Usually, zinc supplements like zinc oxide, pyrithione, or calamine are agents to improve skin. They also help to improve hair conditions, even in regular women.
Inflammation is also a difficult thing for PCOS women. This happens due to insulin resistance. Since zinc helps with insulin control, it is also found to fight inflammation. Hence, both insulin and testosterone levels decrease.
Helps with Hair Growth
Zinc is also a great mineral to fix hair loss problems. Since it is anti-androgen, it will easily remove symptoms like alopecia and hair loss.
The brain needs a lot of zinc for good health. So providing more zinc will relieve you from depression, stress, or other mental conditions. It will greatly improve your mood.
Regulates Thyroid Health
Since PCOS affects various hormones, it no doubt harms the thyroid system. PCOS women easily get Hypothyroidism. But luckily, zinc will improve thyroid functions.
Relieves from PMS Symptoms
Common PMS symptoms like bloating, headaches, anxiety, mood swings, or cramps are sometimes severe in PCOS women. Since zinc helps with ovulation, it also maintains the whole menstrual cycle. So, you will find most of these symptoms are mild or gone for good.
To ensure effectiveness, take around 30 to 50 mg of zinc during PMS, usually two weeks before menstruation.
Takes Care of Heart
PCOS will also trigger heart diseases due to fluctuations in cholesterol levels. You might have a high level of plasma triglyceride and LDL. So, zinc is needed to take control of LDL and triglyceride in the blood and increase HDL.
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency
When you are suffering from zinc deficiency, you are likely to notice some of these common symptoms:
- Bad memory
- Weak immunity
- Constant illness, mainly common cold
- Loss of appetite or smell
- Hair loss
- Sleeping problems
- Lower libido
- Diarrhea or digestive disorders
- Difficulty in healing wounds
- White spots on fingernails
- Mental slowness
- Growth development problems
- Weight loss
- Infertility in severe cases
Blood Test for Zinc Deficiency
You will be asked to do some tests to verify your zinc deficiency. However, a regular blood test might not give precise results since zinc level isn’t easy to measure from blood. Zinc is all around the body, so the amount is distributed.
So, the concentration is calculated from blood plasma or serum for the best results. It works effectively for all patients, including PCOS women.
How much Zinc is Needed?
After your blood test detects zinc deficiency, doctors will prescribe you supplements. Typically, adult women are suggested to take 6.8 mg of zinc daily. But if you have PCOS, then the amount isn’t enough.
PCOS patients take 50 mg of zinc regularly for two months. They will also need to have foods rich in zinc. Some zinc supplements they can take are zinc glycinate, citrate, and picolinate.
But other women with a deficiency can only have 15-30 mg of zinc daily for improvement.
Food Sources for Zinc
Supplements are for quick results, but zinc is readily available in foods you eat regularly. Natural sources are always a better option with no side effects. Sometimes, your deficiency might not be so severe that you need supplements. Instead, foods rich in zinc will help you, and also those taking some supplements.
Consider eating some of these foods for zinc to reach the daily requirement of at least 8 mg in women. You will also have vegan or vegetarian options.
- Red Meat/Turkey/Pork/Lamb
- Alaskan Crab/Shellfish/Lobster
- Hemp/Pumpkin/Sunflower/Squash/Chia/Sesame Seeds
- Mushroom and Kale
- Quinoa/Oats/Brown Rice
- Cacao Powder
Other Effective Supplements for PCOS
You can also take other supplements along with zinc to improve PCOS. Doctors usually suggest a combination of supplements to make them effective.
- Inositol – For fertility and insulin control
- Fish oil – For improved ovulation and fertility and reducing insulin resistance and inflammation
- Vitamin D – Regulating menstrual cycle and ovulation for increased fertility
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) – To have more antioxidants for cell repair and growth, reduce insulin sensitivity and testosterone, and increase fertility
- Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALC) – Another antioxidant to gain energy and reduce insulin resistance
- Magnesium – Increases glucose metabolism, controls insulin levels and hormonal imbalance, relieves PMS symptoms, and reduces inflammation
- Probiotics – Improves gut health to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance and controls the menstrual cycle and androgen levels
- Vitamin B Types – Lowers inflammation and hormonal imbalance, improves fertility, and pregnancy
- Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) – Improves ovarian health, fertility, testosterone, and insulin levels.
Zinc is a wonderful mineral that works like a tonic for PCOS. While it won’t remove the condition, it will decrease the severity and help other medicines to work effectively. You should check for zinc deficiency to take action readily. Otherwise, it can have severe effects on the body.
Before you take a blood test, you can easily check for common symptoms that indicate a zinc deficiency. Besides, zinc doesn’t necessarily have to come from supplements but from your regular diet.
In addition, try some other supplements to pair with zinc for PCOS and better effects on the body and a comfortable life.
I am a health and wellness enthusiast working in a Pittsburgh-based wellness clinic. My primary role as a consultant is to tailor a balanced lifestyle for my patients, where positive steps and potent supplements play a synergistic role.