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Hi, I’m Alyssa! AKA, The PCOS Nutritionist Alyssa!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you eliminate your PCOS symptoms with sustainable and realistic nutrition changes.

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10 Best Vitamins for PCOS According to a Dietitian

If you have PCOS, you’ve likely heard about people taking vitamins for PCOS symptoms. If you’re wondering which vitamins are the best ones to take, I’ve got you!

As a registered dietitian who specializes in PCOS (I also have PCOS, too!), I get asked this question a lot. In this blog post, I’m going to dive into whether you need to take vitamins for PCOS, what the best vitamins are, and which brands I think are good options to consider.

infographic of supplements on wooden spoons; text overlay states 10 best vitamins for pcos.

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do I Need To Take Vitamins For PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that affects approximately 6-12% of women in the United States. 

Common symptoms of PCOS include weight gain, irregular periods, infertility, carb cravings, acne, hirsutism (aka excessive hair growth), hair loss, and fatigue. 

This condition is associated with insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and high androgen levels (aka male sex hormones like testosterone levels). Unfortunately, women with PCOS are also at a higher risk of developing other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, and even endometrial cancer.

Since insulin resistance and chronic inflammation are prevalent in PCOS, a balanced diet and lifestyle changes can immensely improve your PCOS symptoms. These should be the pillars of your PCOS management plan.

See this post on PCOS self-care practices for some of my best tips to get you started!

That said, no you don’t have to take vitamins for PCOS. Similar to prescription medications, dietary supplements can sometimes give you the boost you need to really manage your symptoms though. 

For some people with PCOS, supplements may be a good alternative to the typical prescription drugs like Metformin and hormonal birth control pills. This is especially welcome for the people who struggle with side effects of some of these medications.

Whether you choose to take vitamins for PCOS is a decision that’s best for you and your healthcare provider to make together. You should always consult with your doctor prior to starting any dietary supplements to ensure that they’re a good option for you.

How Do You Pick Which PCOS Vitamins To Take? 

This can be the most tricky part of self-managing your PCOS, especially if you’re not medically-trained. This is why you’ll always want to discuss supplements with your doctor prior to actually starting them. 

To determine which vitamins may be a good option for you, you’ll first want to know a little bit about your own health. Are you insulin resistant? Do you struggle with chronic inflammation? Do you have any other medical conditions such as high cholesterol or thyroid issues? Does your lab work show any nutrient deficiencies? Which symptoms are you trying to eliminate? These are just a few of the questions you may need to ask yourself or your doctor. 

Based on the answers to these questions, it can help you to determine which supplements may help to alleviate your symptoms. If there’s a supplement that checks all, or most, of your boxes, that vitamin may be a good place to start. 

For more information on how to determine which supplements are the best option for you, grab your copy of the PCOS Supplement Guide.

10 Best Vitamins For PCOS

Alright, now that we’ve briefly talked about PCOS and its symptoms, let’s talk about some of the best vitamins for PCOS. 

infographic listing the best vitamins for PCOS.

Inositol

You may have heard about this one before! To be honest, inositol is perhaps my favorite PCOS supplement recommendation. 

Inositol is the most well-studied supplement for PCOS. It’s a vitamin-like substance found in foods like cantaloupe, Brazil nuts, and beans. Inositol is similar to a B vitamin and it actually was historically called vitamin B8. 

Recent studies have shown that those with high caffeine intake (particularly coffee), insulin resistance, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or a high intake of sugar and refined carbs may have lower inositol levels and may require higher amounts of inositol (1).  

For PCOS, inositol can help to:

  • Lower insulin resistance by reducing glucose levels (aka blood sugar levels) and insulin levels
  • Lower body weight and BMI
  • Reduce carbohydrate cravings
  • Decrease cholesterol levels
  • Lower testosterone levels
  • Regulate menstrual cycles and ovulation
  • Improve egg quality and IVF outcomes
  • Decrease the risk of gestational diabetes 
  • Improve thyroid function

Pretty neat, huh? Inositol encompasses a really wide range of potential symptoms. 

infographic on the benefits of inositol for hormones.

Inositol Type, Dosage, & Brands 

Ok, now, there are different types of inositol. The two that have been studied the most are myo-inositol and d-chiro inositol. You can easily find supplements with one or the other of these types of inositol.

You’ll likely experience benefits from taking myo-inositol alone, however, I recommend a combination of myo-inositol and d-chiro inositol in a 40:1 ratio. This ratio is the same one that’s naturally found in our bodies. The research shows better outcomes when this combination of inositols is used rather than just one type of inositol. 

The recommended dose is 2000 to 4000 mg of myoinositol daily plus 50 to 100 mg d-chiro inositol daily. 

When it comes to inositol supplements, my favorite one is Ovasitol by Theralogix. I know it’s pricey, but it will last you 3 to 6 months depending on the dose that you take. If you’re in the United States, you can use my affiliate PRC code: 202702 for a discount. In Canada, use the discount code: ALYSSA.

You can read more about inositol and the research behind it here: 8 Ovasitol Benefits for PCOS.

If you prefer to take pills rather than the Ovasitol powder, I’d recommend this brand. They use the proper ratio of myo-inositol and d-chiro inositol and conduct third party testing on their products. 

A common question I get is: can I take inositol with Metformin? There aren’t any known interactions between Metformin and inositol. That said, they both tend to do the same thing so this could magnify the beneficial effects and potentially cause low blood sugar levels. Another rare side effect of inositol is digestive upset. 

Another reason I really like inositol is that it’s safe to take long term, including during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Berberine

This supplement has become more mainstream in the past several months thanks to it being coined “Nature’s Ozempic”. The reality is that this ancient herb isn’t new to those of us in the PCOS community. There’s actually some pretty impressive research on berberine and PCOS too. 

infographic listing the benefits of berberine for pcos.

For PCOS, berberine can help to:

  • Lower insulin resistance by lowering glucose and insulin levels (2)
  • Significantly reduce fatty liver in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (3)
  • Reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI) (4)
  • Lower high cholesterol levels, particularly total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, while also raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Decrease higher levels of androgens

Additionally, more research is needed but berberine may beneficially impact gut health

Berberine also appears to perform similarly (or better) to Metformin in clinical trials for its ability to reduce body fat mass, cholesterol, glucose, insulin and testosterone. 

Berberine Safety, Dosage, & Brands

For short term use, berberine appears to be safe, although researchers acknowledge that more research is needed to determine safe doses for long-term use.

For short term use, most research studies used 500 to 1500 mg daily. It’s generally recommended to spread these doses out throughout the day in 500 to 600 mg increments. 

While more research is needed, it does appear that 1500 mg berberine daily for up to 6 months appears to be safe. Beyond this time period is unknown.

The most typical side effects experienced with berberine are digestive issues, such as nausea, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. 

Similar to inositol, there are not any known reactions between berberine and Metformin. It does appear to be safe to take berberine and Metformin together, although, since they do the same thing, the chance of hypoglycemia is higher.

For berberine supplements, I like either this one or this one

To read more about berberine and whether it’s safe to combine with inositol also, read more here: Can I Take Berberine & Inositol Together for PCOS?

infographic chart comparing berberine to inositol for pcos.

Curcumin

You may be familiar with the popular golden yellow spice called turmeric. Well, curcumin is a substance derived from turmeric that has gained popularity as a dietary supplement. 

Although turmeric has been long-touted for its anti-inflammatory properties, research has found that curcumin may help with more than just inflammation. 

For PCOS, curcumin may help to:

  • Reduce insulin resistance by lowering glucose, insulin, and HOMA-IR levels (5)
  • Assist in weight loss efforts and lower BMI
  • Lower inflammation and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels 
  • Decrease cholesterol levels, especially in combination with Metformin (6)
  • Lower androgen levels 

The most typical dosage of curcumin in these research studies was 500 to 1500 mg curcumin daily. I recommend either this curcumin supplement or this concentrated curcumin supplement.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in hundreds of enzymatic processes in our bodies. It’s also a nutrient that women with PCOS tend to have lower levels of. In fact, one research study found that women with low levels of magnesium were 19 times more likely to also have PCOS.

For PCOS, magnesium may help to:

  • Decrease insulin resistance
  • Lower inflammation
  • Reduce testosterone levels
  • Improve sleep quality and lessen anxiety
  • Lessen PMS symptoms

There are many different forms of magnesium supplements available. These are the forms and brands that I tend to recommend:

  • Magnesium citrate: this is a well-absorbed form of magnesium. It’s a good option if you struggle with constipation at baseline since it can have a laxative effect for some people. 
  • Magnesium glycinate: this is a good option if you struggle with diarrhea or digestive issues at baseline since it’s well absorbed but doesn’t tend to affect the digestive system like magnesium citrate does.

Taking magnesium at night may be more productive since it can promote sleepiness and calmness. 

Fish Oil

Fish oil supplements are popular for their high omega 3 fatty acid content, particularly EPA and DHA. 

For PCOS, fish oil supplements (aka omega 3 fatty acids) can:

  • Decrease inflammation 
  • Lower insulin levels and insulin resistance
  • Improves certain hormone levels such as LH (luteinizing hormone) and SHBG 
  • Reduce testosterone levels and hirsutism (aka unwanted hair growth)
  • Improve symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Improve pregnancy rates and support a healthy pregnancy

If you enjoy eating fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, or trout regularly, you may be able to skip a fish oil supplement. If you’re not an oily fish lover, you may want to consider a quality fish oil supplement, such as this one by Nordic Naturals.

Vitamin B12

The link between vitamin B12 deficiency and PCOS isn’t super clear yet. We do know that among people with PCOS, if obesity or insulin resistance is also present, there’s a higher chance of having low vitamin B12 levels (7). We also know that commonly prescribed medications such as Metformin, birth control pills, and heartburn medications can cause a vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Thankfully, vitamin B12 levels are simple to check through your lab work. If you suspect a deficiency or you’ve been on any of the common meds that can cause a deficiency, ask your doctor about checking your vitamin B12 levels. 

For more information on symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and everything you should know, don’t miss this post: Best Vitamin B12 for PCOS & 8 Signs of Deficiency.

Vitamin D

Did you know that up to 85% of people with PCOS are also vitamin D deficient? Makes you want to get your levels checked ASAP, right?!

Well, it kind of makes sense that there’s a high rate of vitamin D deficiency among PCOS because vitamin D is actually a hormone. Yes, really! So when we’re talking about how PCOS is a hormonal condition, it would make sense that vitamin D (aka a hormone) could be off too.

Research has shown that having optimal levels of vitamin D can: 

  • Improve menstrual cycle regulation
  • Increase ovulation rates and the amount of mature follicles
  • Decrease glucose and insulin levels
  • Lower inflammation
  • Decrease testosterone levels (8)

Thankfully, vitamin D can easily be checked through lab work. Since it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D from food sources or the sun, most people with PCOS can benefit from 2000 IU of vitamin D supplementation daily. Some people may need a higher dose though, especially if your levels are low.

Probiotics

We often think about probiotics as a way to improve digestion or stomach issues, but more research continues to show us how instrumental our gut is for overall health. 

The gut microbiome is an entire ecosystem of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. A healthy gut microbiome contains a healthy proportion of beneficial bacteria and a wide variety of bacteria strains. 

Women with PCOS tend to have gut dysbiosis, or a suboptimal gut microbiome. This can contribute to insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, two things that are often at the core of PCOS symptoms!

infographic showing the relationship between gut dysbiosis and pcos symptoms.

Research has found that probiotics can:

  • Improve fasting glucose levels and insulin sensitivity
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Lower body weight and BMI
  • Decrease cholesterol levels
  • Reduce free androgen index, testosterone, SHBG, and LH levels
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Reduce digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, and heartburn

Probiotics are the good bacteria that can help to improve gut health. They can be found in fermented foods such as Greek yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, or tempeh. Here are some of my favorite recipes that incorporate probiotic-rich foods:

You can also find probiotics in supplement form as well. There’s several factors to take into account when choosing a probiotic supplement. This is one of my favorite probiotic options for those with PCOS. 

To read more about the benefits of probiotics for PCOS and guidance on choosing one that’s right for you, don’t miss this post: What’s The Best Probiotic for PCOS? Top Brands & Benefits

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that also acts as an antioxidant in the body. It’s actually involved in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body! As important as zinc is, we also know women with PCOS are more likely to have low levels of zinc. 

For PCOS, zinc may be helpful to:

  • Lower glucose and insulin levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve PMS symptoms
  • Decrease androgen levels such as testosterone 
  • Improve acne, hair loss and hirsutism (aka unwanted hair growth)
  • Optimize fertility by promoting ovulation and improving egg quality
  • Possibly improve mental health and sleep

For more information on symptoms of zinc deficiency, the best forms of zinc supplementation, and how much your body needs, be sure to check out this post: 8 Reasons Why Zinc For PCOS Is a Good Idea.

Prenatal Vitamins

What’s the best prenatal vitamin for PCOS? Do I need a prenatal vitamin? These are some questions I’m asked often. The answer: it depends! 

A good quality prenatal vitamin supplement is definitely a worthwhile investment if you’re trying to conceive right now or even thinking about it in the next 3 to 6 months. Prenatal vitamins contain essential nutrients that can help promote ovulation, improve egg quality, and support a healthy pregnancy.

If you’re not trying to conceive, a prenatal vitamin may still be a good option as a multivitamin to help fill in nutrient gaps in your diet.

infographic on the important nutrients for pregnancy and food sources.

These are some important nutrients for pregnancy: 

  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Folic acid
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly DHA 
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D

Which prenatal vitamin is best for you will depend on your unique needs and your current diet. A couple prenatal vitamin options that I like are this one and this one.

For more information on each of these nutrients, more of my preferred prenatal vitamin brands, and which to choose for your needs: 5 Best Prenatal Vitamins for PCOS (from a dietitian).

The Bottom Line

PCOS is a common endocrine disorder that affects up to 12% of women in the United States. Up to 80% of those with the condition are insulin resistant. It’s also associated with chronic inflammation and adrenal dysfunction. 

Since there are limited treatment options offered to women with PCOS, many are interested in exploring dietary supplements. While there is research on several different supplements, there is not one single best supplement for PCOS that everyone will benefit from. 

Some of the best vitamins for PCOS that you may want to consider are inositol, berberine, curcumin, magnesium, fish oil, vitamin B12, vitamin D, probiotics, zinc, or prenatal vitamins. 

As always, it’s important to consult with your doctor before starting any new supplements.

Popular PCOS Supplement Reviews: 

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Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only. It does not substitute for or replace professional medical advice for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or any other medical condition. For best results, always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations before starting any new supplements.

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