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Omega 3’s lower your PCOS Testosterone Levels

If you have PCOS, Omega 3 fatty acids are an important element to add to your pcos diet.

But what are they? Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are Essential Fatty Acids. They cannot be made within the body and have to be sourced in our diets.

They help to:

  • Maintain and develop healthy cells walls
  • Aid brain function
  • Mediate inflammation
  • Promote healthy hair and skin

Interestingly, there are certain vitamins that can only be absorbed in the presence of fats. Vitamin D is one of them, which women with PCOS are often deficient in.

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Omega 3 and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Recent research has found that increasing Omega 3 intake results in improved “free” testosterone levels Omega 3 improves free testosterone levels in women with PCOS in women with PCOS. It is this free testosterone that causes increased hair growth, acne and hair loss. Also, taking Omega 3 supplements may improve the quality of eggs produced from the ovaries, improving fertility. But, that’s not all! It also helps to improve insulin sensitivity. Sounds good, doesn’t it?!

Be careful of too much Omega 6

Omega 3 and Omega 6 work best when they are present in the body in the right ratios. It is thought that the best ratio for optimal function is 1:1. But, in our modernized, Western society, the ratio is closer to 16:1 and sometimes even 30:1 in favour of Omega 6. So, we need to increase intake of Omega 3’s and decrease Omega 6. Let’s have a look at how we can do that.

Sources of Omega 6

Omega 6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids and are found in nuts and seeds and vegetable oils. These refined vegetable oils are found in most snacks, crackers and cookies. Soybean oil is also virtually synonymous with the fast food industry. So you can see that Omega 6 is prevalent in processed, convenient fast foods.

Also, Omega 6 is responsible for inflammation, blood clotting and cell proliferation. These are all important functions, as long as they are kept in check and not left to spiral out of control. Don’t get me wrong, we need Omega 6 but in a much lower quantity. So, why not cut out the fast, processed foods and get your Omega 6 from natural whole sources like those nuts and seeds?

Sources of Omega 3

Excellent sources of Omega 3 include flaxseed, walnuts, sardines and salmon. Although you can take an Omega 3 supplement, it is more easily absorbed and used by the body when it comes straight from the food source. The image below comes from a great website called “The World’s Healthiest Foods” and gives you a good idea of sources of Omega 3’s. The other huge advantage of incorporating these foods into your PCOS diet is that they are low GI and will not impact your insulin and sugar levels in an unhelpful way.

source of omega 3

I also do take an Omega 3 to make sure that I am doing all that I can to get those ratio’s right. Now, there are a couple of ways to take on Omega 3 supplement. You could take capsules (like Nordic Oils) or a omega 3 oil (like this one from Nordic Naturals).

So, bring on the nuts and fish to increase those Omega 3’s and decrease that testosterone! I’d love to hear if you’ve seen any improvement in your PCOS symptoms since increasing your Omega 3 intake – drop me a line below!

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

117 Responses

117 Responses

  1. Hello Tarryn,

    Can you confirm how much Omega 3 supplement per day ?
    I unfortunately am not much of a flaxseed/walnut gal, and don’t get to eat much Salmon do want to take the supplement to help.

    Thanks 🙂

  2. I had painful cystic acne around my chin and it reduced after I quit dairy. I started with all the other supplements and after 3weeks of using Omega3, there are some break outs. Not as bad as before,but still they are around the chin. I am wondering Is it because of the Omega 3? Does it take a while for the body/skin to get adjusted to this like other medicines? I am worried thinking its not suiting me may be, but I see there are of other people who are taking all these, I am still continuing

    1. Sorry I can’t see when you wrote your comment, my understanding is it can take up to 3 months to see improvements with omega 3. I’m currently on week 5 and am waiting patiently for improvements.

      Best wishes,
      Cat

  3. Hi Tarryn,

    I am so happy I have found your website. I am 30 years old and got diagnosed last year with PCOS. I’m getting married in two months and I have been trying to loose weight since last September. I’ve lost 20lbs but it’s just kind of stopped and I started gaining again. We are also talking about having kids, so here is to hoping I can. I just recently started insoitol after reading about it on your site and all about what foods to eat. This was my first week and I have successfully lost 4lbs. I am very happy by this. I also started doing the elliptical for 20 minutes. I only did that 3 days but it is a start! Thank you for everything! I will update where I am at by my wedding!

  4. Hi Ladies along with the other solutions my health food store recommended Estrogen Adapt it gets rid of cysts on the ovaries. So between adapting a healthy diet, vitamin d, d-inositol and these things let’s hope something helps. We haven’t completed one full month yet however I will check back in if we have any positive feedback to share. My daughter wasn’t medically diagnosed with pcos because Doctors look for other things instead of the underlying cause but she has all of the symptoms so I am doing what I can to help her and anyone else with this that I can. Thank you Taryn for all of your help

  5. I was diagnosed when I was 24. I had problems conceiving. My ex had problems too & we had a son thru IVF in the end. My son is a healthy bouncing 8 year old now. Gynaes told me for years to go on OCPs to control my weight & hairloss, which is extensive. I have a bald spot in the front, no jk. I recently went to see an aesthetic physician who is treating my hairloss with PRP-this is your own blood processed to be injected in your scalp. She also told me to take only Omega 3 1200mg x 4 everyday (high strength epa&dha always read the content), 1500 biotin, Vitamin D solution, B-complex and high dosages of Chromium – abt 800-1200 mg per day. On top of that, I’m also using Regrow 2 x a day. I’m to avoid dairy & carbs, lots of exercise. Can I just say, my hair is thicker after 3 months, I feel less aggressive and most importantly, seem to be losing weight. It’s different for everyone but seeing a specialist might help with the best solution for you. Chromium is working for lots of people is what I’m reading on the net. In high dosages. I was told that I have 4 x more testosterone than a normal woman.

    1. You have given me hope. I am 31 years old and I don’t have any children and i really want one. I was nervous that by having PCOS i will not be able to. I also have what seems like 8x more testosterone lol. But only on my body but my hair on my head is really thin and i don’t know that to do about it. So does the omega 3 really work? I just don’t want to increase the hair everywhere else that is why i am afraid

      1. I am a 23 year old who’s been told by several doctors that I’m infertile and don’t ovulate due to high testosterone and PCOS. I’ve been researching for a year and going to a naturopathic Doctor. We are treating my pcos with something called Myo Inosiyol and DChiro inositol. Something that also a lot of PCOS women have had success with is Vitex. Inositols are b vitamins that normal body’s make enough of but ours don’t. Google it. Vitex an herb also regulates women with infrequent or absent periods but for me it gave me anxiety but out of the reviews online this is rare and only happens with women who have bad depression and anxiety which I do.

        I’m telling you these things because I too want to have a baby and I know how much it hurts to not be able to conceive. These herbs and vitamins and also omega 3 (testosterone lowerer) can help you ovulate and control your insulin resistant which all women with pcos have. I’ve been on 600mg DChiro inositol and 2g myo Inositol for several months and I had a regular period like 30 days apart and I have hope that I’m ovulating.

        Love and God bless!

        1. Karen,

          I am so happy that at your young age you are able to pinpoint why you’re “infertile.” I’m 38, no children and my husband and I are having trouble conceiving. We even sought the help of an infertility specialist. No luck there, but oh, I developed a cyst from the fertility drugs! 🙁

          Because my doctors have been no help in explaining WHY i have high testosterone, I did research myself. And I’m happy to say that I’ve come to the same conclusion as you. I have all the herbs and supplements that you’ve mentioned. I am awaiting ANOTHER appointment with a new endocrinologist, but in the meantime, I’m self-treating my hormonal imbalance with the herbs and supplements you mentioned.

          I hope it helps us both!

          1. Hi there ladies, I too, have PCOS. I was diagnosed when I was 22 years old. I fortunately was able to conceive at the age of 30, after 11 years of trying with my husband. I underwent surgeries, hormone therapies, every medication you could probably list and nothing helped. I actually started seeing a acupuncturist and took Organic natural progesterone. Within 3 months I was pregnant. I continued the natural progesterone until into my 3rd trimester because with PCOS our bodies tend not to make enough progesterone. Usually by the 3rd trimester your body and the baby has helped make enough progesterone. We did try to have other children, and now at the age of 39, my husband is 43, we are happy with our precious 9 year old. I wish the best to you all. I continue to utilize the progesterone cream monthly for 3 weeks and 1 week off. I have a period every 4.5 weeks and ovulate every month by using the progesterone cream. I do take several herbal supplements, including Vit D, Omegas, Multi, Biotin, Chaste Berry, and a digestive enzyme. I have several symptoms of PCOS like the very thin hair (which is hard to deal with), the weight gain, although I have been steady at 183 pounds for the last year. I have excessive body and facial hair, which I recently started facial laser hair removal about 1 year ago and I have had a 90 percent reduction. So I will continue to eat healthier, exercise, and take my vitamins. Thank you for sharing your successes and vitamins you have tried. Best of luck!

        2. One more thing Karen. Ask your Naturopathic Doctor about Spearmint Tea. I’ve read that it also helps lower testosterone levels in women with PCOS and high testosterone levels. 2 cups a day. I’m actually drinking my first cup of the day right now.

  6. If you have PCOS you want to decrease your testosterone, not boost it. That is the point of this blog for women who suffer from PCOS, too much testosterone production. 🙂

  7. Hi I m suffer with of pcos and suffer from this problem I have some unwanted hairs kindly send me some diet information and my periods is regular I don’t want to disturb my periods ….and suffer from likhoria I’ll not to stop dairy products kindly help me…

  8. I just added flax seed to my diet. Hoping it helps in conjunction with the other things I hope to change after finishing your free starter kit. I have struggled with PCOS for 20 years or more. I have miscarried twins. I initially became pregnant after making huge life style changes and losing 100 pounds. Since then, I have fallen into a depression and gained a lot of the weight back. I really need to get back to where I was. I hope this can help me get back there.

    1. I just added 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed too. I was doing chia seeds but read they aren’t as absorbant.

      Do you have pcos? I commented this to another lady’s post; it’s not spam. Just want to help who I can.
      I’m so sorry for the loss of your twins. I pray God would give you back the years the locusts have taken away (it’s a bible verse, not being weird I promise)

      I am a 23 year old who’s been told by several doctors that I’m infertile and don’t ovulate due to high testosterone and PCOS. I’ve been researching for a year and going to a naturopathic Doctor. We are treating my pcos with something called Myo inositol and DChiro inositol. Something that also a lot of PCOS women have had success with is Vitex. Inositols are b vitamins that normal body’s make enough of but ours don’t. Google it. It’s available on Amazon as a powder. Vitex is an herb that also regulates women with infrequent or absent periods but for me it gave me anxiety but out of the reviews online this is rare and only happens with women who have bad depression and anxiety which I do. Read the reviews of a 5 star Vitex. It’ll give you hope.

      I’m telling you these things because I too want to have a baby and I know how much it hurts to not be able to conceive. These herbs and vitamins and also omega 3 (testosterone lowerer) can help you ovulate and control your insulin resistance which all women with pcos have. I’ve been on 600mg DChiro inositol and 2g myo Inositol daily for several months and I had a regular period like 30 days apart and I have hope that I’m ovulating.
      The big reason for miscarriage in women with PCOS is that we don’t produce progesterone because the testosterone is stealing all of it. So adding omega 3 into your diet like flax seed should help. Omega 3 pills don’t help as much from what I’ve read.

      Love and God bless!

  9. Hi. Thanks for all the information. I was curious…are there any negative side effects of taking Omega 3 or can you take too much? Also, does it interact with birth control pills?

    1. If you are following package dosing there shouldn’t be any negative risks. Always ask your pharmacist about possible drug interactions

  10. I was diagnosed with pcos when I was about 18. I have unwanted hair on my face that I have been trying to control but I’ve still been having trouble with. What can I do? Are there vitamins or something I could take?

    1. There are certain vitamins and minerals that help tremendously with pcos symptoms, send me an email at pinkngreen2014@gmail and I’ll be happy to share with you

      1. Hello Are you able to help me with what sort of vitamins and minerals to take? And also how many of each tablet each day.

  11. Hello. I have a high testosterone and past 5-6years im having a hair lost and having some unwanted hair around my cheeks please help?

    1. I have PCOS for 12 years now. Have acne and excess facial hair as well. Cheeks, sideburns and dark hair. I tried everything from bleaching the hair to waxing it when it got worse. And then discovered laser hair removal and best decision ever. Cutera Coolglide Laser was the least painful of all lasesr. After 2 laser treatment session and over 2 months, significant improvement. Very pleased. Now I just get laser done once in 4 months to get rid of barely visible fuzz. Yes, its expensive. But the result it so so so worth it.

      As for acne, metformin, daily exercise and watching my sugar intake like a hawk has helped tremendously.

  12. hi, I was suffered with PCOS and irregular periods as well as unwanted hairs but now past 9 months I started to get my periods naturally. My problem is unwanted hair, even getting regular periods still unwanted hair grows back thicker. help me to stop the growth of facial hair.

  13. Hi Sam,
    I am on metformin too (3x 500), but I also have PCOS.
    I haven’t experienced what you describe here, but when I stopped metformin for 6 months after a few years, my testosterone jumped right back up.
    I use homeopathic meds to help with my period.
    Here is a book that I’ve found most helpful: Paul Jaminet – Perfect Health Diet
    I am now trying to fix what’s behind the imbalance of my hormones, know and mostly unknown…(for more than 15 years my doctors have no answers for me)
    First thing I did was to cut out all sugar and wheat, that improved my health straight away. But you’ll find a lot of useful things in the Testimonial section of their web page too, and try their Q&A.
    all the best
    Sophie

  14. Hey, I’m 28 and have not been diagnosed with pcos, however I have been on a high dose of metformin to combat insulin resistance due to high levels of testosterone. As of a month ago my neck started to itch and I noticed I had two hive spots on my neck. It could only be maintained with an antihistamine. At first I thought this was some weird side effect of midol, but then I started reading that itching and rash can sometimes occur as an allergic reaction to metformin. I also did some reading that said that there can be sensitivities to the different manufactured generic forms of metformin. I’m thinking the latter is what i have been experiencing as the same spot on my neck has had a hive and has been itching since i started with the new pharmacy. I’m just wondering if anyone else has experienced this if they’ve taken metformin and if there’s anyone on here who’s noticed a complete difference in how they feel and their actual hormone levels if they’ve gone off the metformin and switched to natural supplements.

    I’m thinking about taking a more holistic approach but I want to proceed with caution. I understand all of the above about diet, exercise and how the supplementation would work but am concerned about the efficacy of such treatments as i’m on the highest dose of metformin you can be on and i’m still having an extremely hard time losing weight.

    thanks for any help you can give,
    sam

  15. I was suffering from PCOD for last 7 years with irregular periods in the start and followed by no periods at all for a year. i Had put on a lot of weight, i have facial hair and thin hair on the scalp. But for the last seven months, my periods have got regular without any medication. I had stopped all my medications more than a year ago. But the problem is ever since my periods have got normal, i have acne breakouts on my face and its weird cause in the whole of my life time up till now i have never seen a spot on my face and the excess body hair on the face and stomach still remains. Kindly help me with something to treat the acne and excessive hair along with keeping in mind that i don’t want to disturb the periods which are now normal.

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