Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complicated endocrine disorder affecting many different areas of a sufferer’s body and life. Reliable information can be hard to come by and symptoms such as infertility, excess facial and body hair, acne, fatigue and excess weight can leave women with PCOS feeling inadequate, demoralised and depressed with life.
There are many simple steps that women with PCOS can incorporate into their lives to gain control over PCOS and put them on the path to better health. In this series of articles, we will explore 20 simple and easy steps that can make a difference to PCOS.
Step # 13
Work with a qualified professional to choose a selection of herbs and nutrients which support healthy carbohydrate metabolism.
Chromium is an essential component of glucose tolerance factor (GTF) which works along with insulin to transport the blood sugar into the cells of our body so that it can be used as fuel to generate energy. If you have enough chromium in your body, then you need less insulin to maintain a healthy blood sugar range. It also plays a part in protein and fat metabolism and in maintaining healthy cholesterol ratios and levels.
Magnesium deficiency in the general population results in increased insulin resistance, as well as increased smooth muscle and platelet reactivity,and is associated with both cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Women with PCOS have been found to have significantly lower serum and total magnesium compared with the controls, and this may contribute to the progression from insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Population studies have confirmed that a high daily magnesium intake is associated with a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, while individuals with low serum magnesium have a higher incidence. Magnesium deficiency occurs more frequently in diabetics despite adequate dietary intake, because urinary excretion is increased in the presence of elevated insulin and glucose in the urine.
Manganese is an essential trace element which is involved in energy production and metabolism, being an integral part in the creation of glycogen, fatty acids and cholesterol – all of which we need to stay healthy and energetic. It has been found in clinical studies to increase the efficacy of d-chiro inositol at reducing elevated blood sugar by a factor of 2. It is a potent antioxidant and improves the strength of cell walls and boosts the immune system which helps the body fight off viruses and bacteria.
Vanadium mimics many of the actions of insulin in the body and has been studied for a potential role in the treatment of obesity, hypertension, diabetes and insulin resistance. Whilst very high doses are required to achieve a therapeutic effect, it does appear to be long-lasting. One human study found that 100 mg of vanadium daily for three weeks reduced fasting blood sugar and HbA1c levels by 10-15% and this effect was sustained two weeks after the therapy ceased.
Zinc plays an important role in the synthesis, secretion and storage of insulin. High blood sugar causes zinc to be lost in the urine more quickly than normal.
Next articles in series: 20 simple steps you an take to control polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) #14
- Dark chocolate reduces insulin resistance
- Can fat turn into muscle?
- PCOS more prevalent in lesbian women
To read more articles by Anne Seccombe click on the links for Health, PCOS or Low Carbohydrate Lifestyles.
This article was originally published at My PCOS Info – Questions & Answers. Further references and links to the studies mentioned can be found there.
(C) Copyright 2012 Anne Seccombe. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without the express permission of the author. All rights reserved.