Alternative Natural Therapies for Management of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Alternative therapies for the management of PCOS are beneficial for those individuals who do not tolerate or respond to traditional therapies such as Metformin. In addition, alternative therapies may be used in combination with traditional medical therapies in patients who have an inadequate response to traditional treatment. Equally important, alternative therapies appeal to those individuals who prefer a more natural, holistic form of management. Currently, the Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery uses the following three supplements to treat and manage PCOS patients: D-Chiro-Inositol, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, and Chromium Picolinate.
D-Chiro-Inositol is a natural insulin-sensitizing supplement. A deficiency in DCI may contribute to insulin resistance. Studies reveal that women with PCOS have a decreased circulating concentration of DCI and that the administration of DCI to women with PCOS decreases the insulin response to orally administered glucose. In previous studies, subjects experienced no side effects related to DCI. In addition, DCI may improve ovulatory function, hyperandrogenism, blood pressure, and triglycerides.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine is a safe and well-tolerated supplement which has been used to treat various medical conditions. It is a precursor of the amino acid L-cysteine and has been shown to have an influence on insulin secretion in pancreatic cells, as well as the regulation of the insulin receptor in human erythrocytes. In addition, it is a powerful antioxidant and a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of cancer, and other diseases characterized by the generation of free oxygen radicals. It has been shown that NAC is able to improve insulin secretion in response to glucose. NAC administration is well tolerated with no adverse effects.
Chromium Picolinate is an over-the-counter dietary product that improves insulin sensitivity and improves the rate of glucose disposal in patients with PCOS. There are no adverse side effects associated with this supplement. Chromium picolinate is an extremely safe and highly tolerable trace mineral that is present in the normal diet. Chromium picolinate is useful as an insulin sensitizer and improves glucose tolerance in women with PCOS.
Baillargeon, J., Diamanti-Dandarakis, E., Ostlund, Jr., R. E., Apridonidze, T., Iuorno, M. J., & Nestler, J. E. (2006). Altered d-chiro-inositol urinary clearance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Diabetes Care, 29(2), 300-305.
Fulghesu, A. M., Ciampelli, M. Muzj, G. Belosi, C. Selvaggi, L. Ayala, G. F., & Lanzone, A. (2002). N-acetyl-cysteine treatment improves insulin sensitivity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, 77(6), 1128-1135.
Lucidi, R. S., Thyer, A. C., Easton, C. A., Holden, A. E., Schenken, R. S., & Brzyski, R. G. (2005). Effect of chromium supplementation on insulin resistance and ovarian and menstrual cyclicity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, 84(6), 1755-1757.
Lydic, M. L., McNurlan, M., Bembo, S., Mitchell, L., Komaroff, E., & Gelato, M. (2006). Chromium picolinate improves insulin sensitivity in obese subjects with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, 86(1), 243-246.
Nestler, J. E., Jakubowicz, D. J., Reamer, P., Gunn, R. D., & Allan, G. (1999). Ovulatory and metabolic effects of d-chiro-inositol in the polycystic ovary syndrome. The New England Journal of Medicine, 340(17), 1314-1320.
Rizk, A. Y., Bedaiwy, M. A., & Al-Inany, H. G. (2005). N-acetyl-cysteine is a novel adjuvant to clomiphene citrate in clomiphene citrate-resistant patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, 83(2), 367-370.