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Benefits of Resveratrol on Women with PCOS

Did you know – about 1 in every 10 women in the UK is affected with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) [1]? It is a common condition among women of reproductive age and affects millions of women in the UK. 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic, endocrine and reproductive disorder in women associated with obesity and aging. The characteristics of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) include – obesity, insulin resistance, polycystic ovaries and anovulation. PCOS is related to abnormal levels of hormones in the body and often runs in families.

According to a study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women [2]. Women with PCOS have slightly higher levels of androgen and testosterone hormones. The elevated levels of these hormones contribute to the irregular menstrual cycle, weight gain, infertility, excess hair on the face and body. 

Scientific research indicates that resveratrol has potential therapeutic effects in infertile women with PCOS. It might be effective in improving fertility in women by improving egg quality and maturation in women with PCOS. 

 What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is an antioxidant that helps regulate hormonal imbalance and promotes fertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is found in high concentrations in grapes, red wine, berries, peanuts, pistachios and a variety of medicinal plants. It has been reported to have a variety of anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties to fight bacterial and fungal attacks.

Besides, it provides a broad range of beneficial metabolic effects, that include – improvement in insulin sensitivity, decreased adiposity, balanced lipid profile, and so on [3]. Being rich in polyphenols, it has the potential to fight inflammation and reduce cholesterol. Since the compound was abundant in red wine – it has been actively studied for years. Based on early research, it is thought to provide the following benefits – 

  • Prevent atherosclerosis
  • Inhibits clot formation
  • Stimulate eNOS activity
  • Prevents proliferation of cancer cells
  • Increases sensitivity to insulin
  • Slowing down aging process
  • Improves oocyte maturation
  • Protects against postovulatory aging
  • Improve fertility and enhance egg quality

Resveratrol is an important polyphenol that protects the body from free radicals and cellular damage. Studies found that resveratrol negatively affects cancer development. Additionally, it makes chemotherapy more effective by blocking chemo-resistant proteins. 

Resveratrol occurs in some plant foods like – grapes, raspberries, mulberries, peanuts etc. One can add them to their regular diet to get the required dosage of resveratrol. One can also take resveratrol supplements that contain extracts from red wines, berries and grape seeds.   

Resveratrol and PCOS

Women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of testosterone and insulin, which can lead to infertility. Research on the therapeutic benefits of resveratrol has started - as women with PCOS want safer and natural treatments to improve their conditions. In general, resveratrol is known for its anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. 

 In a recent study conducted by Antoni J Duleba, MD, University of California in San Diego – women with PCOS who took resveratrol for 3 months had significantly lower levels of testosterone [4]. The findings suggested that resveratrol has effects on both the adrenal and ovaries without affecting the lipid profile and body mass index (BMI). It resulted in a 23.1% reduction of testosterone levels in 3 months. 

 In the summary, resveratrol supplementation appears to significantly improve insulin resistance and inhibits ovarian androgen production in women with PCOS. In addition, there is extensive evidence that resveratrol supplements help prevent degenerative diseases and promotes cell production – with the added effect of promoting infertility in women with PCOS.