What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a common condition affecting how an individual’s ovaries work. There are many symptoms of PCOS, which will vary from person to person, however, the diagnostic criteria are the same for everyone. To be diagnosed with the condition two of the following three criteria must be met:
• Irregular periods
• Excess androgens in the body – often recognised by the physical symptoms they cause such as excess facial or body hair
• Polycystic ovaries
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone, that the body creates from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors. In the UK from around April to September, most individuals will get enough vitamin D through sunlight, however, throughout the winter months, this isn’t the case.
However, throughout autumn and winter, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D, therefore a daily supplement containing 10mg of vitamin D is recommended.
Why is it Important to Get Enough Vitamin D?
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are essential in keeping bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
PCOS and Vitamin D Deficiency
Is vitamin D deficiency common in people with PCOS?
Some recent studies have found that vitamin D deficiency is common in individuals with PCOS and the prevalence of deficiency is higher in people with PCOS than the general population. It has been estimated that 67% to 85% of people with PCOS are deficient in vitamin D.
What are the impacts of vitamin D deficiency in people with PCOS?
Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with metabolic and endocrine disorders in PCOS. Low levels of vitamin D may worsen the symptoms of PCOS, such as; menstrual irregularities, infertility, hyperandrogenism, and insulin resistance.
What Foods Contain Vitamin D?
There are some foods that contain vitamin D, but these are in small amounts. This includes oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. Also, red meat, liver and egg yolks.
Fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals – also contain vitamin D.
Should You Supplement Vitamin D for PCOS?
Given the suggested link between vitamin D and PCOS, multiple studies have investigated the effects of vitamin D supplementation on individuals with PCOS. Whilst, further wider studies are required to confirm results, it has been established in various research that vitamin D supplementation can affect insulin resistance, glucose levels and hyperandrogenism in patients with PCOS.
As people in the UK should take vitamin D throughout the winter months anyway, it may be recommended that people with PCOS should take vitamin D supplements all year round.
Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider before taking supplements.
How Much Vitamin D Should You Take for PCOS?
Adults require 10 micrograms (also sometimes written as 400 IU) of vitamin D per day, including pregnant and breastfeeding people and those at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Supplementing with too much vitamin D can cause too much calcium to build up in the body. This can damage the kidneys and heart, and weaken bones. No more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) of vitamin D a day should be taken.
Best Vitamin D Supplement for PCOS in the UK
We’ve selected some of the highest-rated, most effective vitamin D supplements for people with PCOS in the UK. Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
BetterYou Vitamin D3000+K2 Daily Oral Spray
3000 IU of Vitamin D
Vitamin K2 helps prevent aterial calcification
Effective and convenient alternative to tablets and capsules
1000 IU of Vitamin D