Vitamin D and Calcium: A Must for your PCOS Diet

We all need a little bit of sunshine in our lives, not just because it makes us feel so much better and puts a spring in our step. Exposure to the sun helps our bodies make Vitamin D, a much-needed vitamin in any PCOS Diet.

Why is Vitamin D important for PCOS?

Vitamin D is important for insulin resistance, breast health, mood and weight loss. And here’s the kicker: most women with PCOS are deficient in Vitamin D (83% to be exact).

How Calcium fits in with Vitamin D

So, what’s the deal with calcium? Well, Vitamin D is needed for Calcium to absorbed by the body so if your Vitamin D levels are low, chances are you’re also in need of a Calcium boost. Calcium is also important in follicle maturation and egg development.

Study Findings

In a recent study, 100 women with PCOS were divided into two groups. The first group was given Metformin only, while the second group was given Metformin and Vitamin D and Calcium supplements.
 
After 6 months, the women in the second group had lost more weight, had more regular menstrual cycles, more mature follicles and an improvement in male hormone levels in their blood stream.

The researchers do say that the differences between the two groups were not big enough to be statistically important. But I bet they made a HUGE difference to the women in group 2! I’d love more mature follicles to improve my fertility and help with losing weight!

CONCLUSION

So, I have started on Vitamin D and Calcium supplements and I think it’s worth thinking about for you too!

If you’re already taking Vitamin D and Calcium, I’d love to hear how it’s helped and if you’ve noticed any changes. Please leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

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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.

51 Responses

51 Responses

  1. Hi, I have been I having issue with PCOS for the fast 30+years, I have been TTC for 16years now. I can go for 9 or more months without period. However my doctor re-commended I take metmophin, folic acid and vitamin D, just 2 months into my meds, I started seeing my period, and for the fast 8months now I have been on it without skipping and now my periods come very often than before. I have also lost some weight too.

  2. Hello tarryn,
    my doctor informed me that my vitamin d level was low and suggested I take a supplement. He didn’t Metion taking calcium and a fat soluble vitamin like fish oil. So should I take all three if these in order to get vitamin d in system? Thanks in advance!

  3. How much vit D and Calcium citrate is recommended per day? Also, I’m finding the calcium citrate tablets I’m finding on Amazon also contain calcium carbonate. Can anybody recommend a particular brand please? Thanks x

  4. Hi,
    I’m 25 yrs from India and never had regular periods. Tried using pills, worked when i used them and stopped when i discontinued. Hearing the side effects of many such pills, moved to Ayurveda, where I was given tonics and tablets mostly used for weight loss, but I’m already underweight 44 kg, 5′ 3″ height. So, I haven’t used them atleast for a week, fearing more weight loss. I have severe mood swings and recently hospitalized for tetany seizures. Then, when they dripped Calcium into blood, I felt a bit better. Even now I suffer from muscle aches, especially at late nights and early mornings everyday. Do my symptoms tell something on how I should take care. Please help me, as I’ve got lot of responsibility to take up, and hope to be healthy and active.

    Thanks. 🙂

    1. Hi Nivi
      I am 28 years old and benn diagnosed by pcos from past 6 years. I have tried pills and suffered a lot of side effects.I tried ayurveda for sometime. I too was given tonic and tablets. It did not help me too.I stopped all my medicines and finally decided to tackle it in natural way. It was not easy at start. But after a huge lifestyle modifications I am getting my periods naturally which was never possible. I am ovualting too. Weight loss will help a lot. But its also about eating right. I have eliminated carbs in my diet. I have gone gluten free. Have a lot of fruits and veggies without fail. I have green smoothies for breakfast. I make sure that I get sufficient fibre, vit D,C and proteins. Pcos is all about taking care of your harmones and insulin resistance of our body. The most important is exercise. I go to gym regularly.Any kind of exercise is must to our body. Being an Indian I have totally eliminated rice and chapathis from my diet which is a staple food for us. I replace it with healthy options (example brown rice) . With a slight modification of life style and diet Pcos can be brought to control. I hope this information helps you. Good luck

  5. so I was diagnosed with pcos last month..haven’t got my period in 5 months..did a little research and started taking metformin,for 2 weeks then started vit. d3 and calcium …a week in a half into taking vitamin d3 and calcium I finally got my period!!!!..cant wait to tell my gyno…it’s definitely worth a try..and fyi …after doing a little research d3 should be taken 1000iu per 25lbs of body weight with 1000-1500 mg calcium..good luck!!

    1. I was just diagnosed with PCOS yesterday, and I will probably have to go to a specialist depending on test results to rule out ovarian cancer. I am only 21.
      So, as you can guess, Google has been my best friend recently.

      I haven’t had a period in over a year. I have to start birth control, and metformin on Sunday.
      Although I will admit that I am scared of starting metformin due to the horrible side effects that I’ve been reading about 🙁

      1. I used immodium when starting metformin and it was very helpful. Also watch your carb intake – that is what makes me sick… too much carbs

  6. I’ve been reading a lot about vitamin D deficiency and had been taking 1000iu of vitamin D3 per day because I am indoors pretty much all the time during daylight hours, and I am vegetarian so don’t get any from oily fish. I have just discovered a book which argues that vitamin D and calcium supplementation are pointless, and may even be dangerous, unless you supplement with vitamin K2 also! Vitamin K2 apparently channels the calcium and vitamin D to where they are supposed to be, ie your bones and teeth. Without K2, vitamin D can cause calcium to leave your bones and enter your bloodstream. This can cause calcium to lodge in your arteries, causing arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). This is perhaps the reason why calcium supplementation has been linked to heart attacks. Also vitamin D/calcium supplementation without vitamin K2 can cause tooth decay and actually worsen osteoporosis. This rings true for me as I began to feel sensitivity in my 4 top front teeth about 6 months into vitamin D3 supplementation. Dentist tells me my teeth have demineralised at the root and gave me two fillings! Never had a problem with my teeth previously. Vitamin K2 can actually reverse hardening of the arteries, and remineralise teeth and bones. I haven’t finished the book yet, but anyone who is interested can google it for more info – Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life. I have a feeling that the widespread occurrence of PCOS today may be linked to our increasing indoor lifestyle and subsequent vitamin D deficiency, which then sets off a chain reaction of hormonal imbalance. Also we barely have any Vitamin K2 in our diets since the industrialisation of agriculture. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. I have always eaten really well, am quite active, take good quality supplements. But I definitely don’t spend enough time outdoors and all my health issues began when I started night shifts! Fingers crossed vitamin K2 will get vitamin d and calcium to work properly and do something good for me.

  7. vitamin D and calcium supplements have proved to control pcos u say !!
    but one of my doctor suggests to intake 2 glasses of milk(normal ) daily which acts vitamin D and calcium supplements . and upon tat i’ve read that say no to diary products !!
    So , what should i follow ??
    can i have milk or not ??

  8. Hello,
    I have just started taking calcirol satchets. I have been told to have one satchet a week for 4 weeks and after that to have one satchet a month. I have also been advised to have cod liver oil capsules. Anybody has any ideas about it?

  9. I initially was put on birth control to manage PCOS, but I did not feel comfortable with the medicine because I knew there was something wrong in my body and adding those hormones did not fix it. So I went to another doctor and asked her if there were any other options. We decided to try metformin. I have not had GI issues that are comparable to the bad stories I hear from it. My aunt was really uncomfortable with metformin, but I do not even get stomach aches. I did for the first week, and when we went up on the dosage, but none anymore.

    It has helped me loose weight and my testosterone levels have gone down, but not low enough.

    I have only had 1 natural period in 4 months and I am not sure if I am ovulating. Therefore metformin has not fixed me, but I am more hopeful.

    This community will also help with both meal planning and encouragement. Let’s be the few who actually change our lifestyles!

  10. Hi
    I found out that my left side of my Fallopian tube is damaged and filled with fluid but my right one is sorta ok but will have to have both taken out. The dr has encouraged me to lose 2stone in 6month witch I’ve lost 7lbs so far.
    What can I do to help me with IVF next year? Like supplements and eating foods to boost egg quality and uterus.
    Would much appreciate any help as I don’t know what todo or where to start for IVF next year. Also I have pcos (every symptom) except diebietie problems.

  11. Hi, Im researching PCOS having been diagnosed 2 years ago at age 37. I have secondary infertility and Im trying to balance my body before trying to get pg again (if that is even possible) I started taking Vit D3 (4000iu/d) about a week ago…Wow…what a difference in mood, energy etc. I will bump that up to 5000iu tomorrow. I did read somewhere that it was suggested to do 1000iu per 25lbs, but for us cysters I can see that may not be enough for the lean ones especially. I have tried Metformin and it was a gastro nightmare. I have a ton left and I am going to give it a go again but in a lower dosage. I was at 2000mg a day. Im going to try 1500 a day and see what comes of it. I have also tried Inositol. I used it for a month and didnt really see enough of a difference. My dose may have not been correct. Im so excited to see information on vitamin and mineral deficiencies out there for pcos women. I have set out on a personal mission, for myself, to do the most natural thing for my body. Post note…I have had aches in my joints for a few years now. After reading this Im hoping I can figure out what else is needed to eliviate that. Im to young for aches like these. Thanks again for all the great info!!

    1. Kim,

      Can you please tell me what brand of vitamin D3 you’re using?? also, I assume you’re taking Calcium + K2 with it?

      Thanks!

  12. Hi tarryn six months ago i went to the ortho due to frequent body pains and also pains during sleep.also had white spots on both my toes and i immediately knew it was a calcium deficiency. The doc sent me for a Vit D and calcium test and found tht the Vit D levels were so low tht if i had continued i would have fainted in a few days.. And off course got diagnosed with PCOS subsequently..been taking Vit D and calcium supplements ever since and i feel so good,active and no pains at all 🙂

  13. My periods have been very irregular since I started my cycle. I started taking a multivitamin in July and Have had 3 regular periods since then. Normal people with normal cycles hate when Aunt Flow comes to visit but people with irregular cycles get excited that their body is working right. I started googling vitamins for the Reproductive System and Vitamin. D came up along with Cal and Magnesium …

  14. Hello Tarryn,
    Is 2000 IU of vitamin D too much to take? I couldn’t find 1000 IU. Could I cut it in half?

    1. Hi Stefanie,

      Vitamin D is needed to absorb Calcium. So, your calcium levels should improve as you take Vitamin D. You can take a Calcium supplement as well if you feel you may be lacking.

      Hope that helps,

      Tarryn

  15. I was recently diagnosed with PCOS & my naturopath put me on 5 vit d supplements per day. My levels were within normal range according to the gp but my naturopath said the levels should be over 100. After 3 months, my cycle was regular & still is. I definitely think it has some effect on hormone function.

  16. Hi
    Is it better to buy the individual supplements or a multivitamin tablet, I was unsure which would be best as there are many being recommended in line with all my PCOS symptoms.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Steph,

      I would take individual tablets. There is no one multivitamin that will give you do combination and quantities that you need for PCOS.

      Hope that helps!

      Tarryn

      1. Tarryn,

        I started to use a app that will track your food and add it up at the end of the day for me. I can also see which vitamins i did not get from food or that i still need to consume. I have been just taking the vitamins that i still lack in at the end of the day. Do you think that is a good idea? If i see that i’m 100% on calcium then i will skip that vitamin and take any others. Again, how do you feel about doing it that way? Also, is it bad to take vitamins at night, just to fulfill what you didnt get from your food that day?

        1. Hi Karen,

          It is good to keep track of what vitamins you are getting each day. Women with PCOS are deficient in some vitamins though so I would still take more than te average dose of Vitamin D, Inositol and Folic Acid, Omega 3 and Magnesium.

          Hope that helps!

          Tarryn

  17. I bought a gluten free multivitamin, the Calcium is only 200mg which is only 20% of the daily value. Should I get another Vitamin with more calcium?

  18. What about Magnesium? I bought some supplements a while ago that contain Calcium, Vitamin D3 and Magnesium – will these work in the same way? I read that Calcium can only be absorbed with Magnesium (or the other way round). I haven’t been taking them religiously though so can’t tell if they’ve made any difference to me.

    1. Hi Emma,

      It seems that magnesium deficiency is common in women with PCOS and has been linked to insulin resistance. So, thanks for pointing that out. I’m going to add magnesium to my supplements. The one thing I did read, though, is that your magnesium: calcium ratio needs to be right. I think the focus is more on magnesium and calcium.

      Hope that helps!

      Tarryn

    1. Hi Krystie,

      Here is an interesting article on Vitamin D from the Vitamin D council: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-to-get-your-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-supplementation/ They recommend taking at least 5,000 IU per day. That’s a huge amount more than what I am taking currently so I’m going to look at sourcing some Vitamin D3 drops. Also, you should take it with some fats as they are fat soluble and you need Calcium to absorb Vitamin D so that is why it is often sold as a combination of Vit D and Calcium.

      Hope that helps!

      Tarryn

  19. Hi Tarryn,

    What is your opinion on Metformin? Does it have any huge side effects? I was on it and it really helped me lose weight but I have been off it for a few months and the weight has started to come back.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Anne,

      I have never been on Metformin myself but I have heard that the gastro-intestinal side effects are awful. If you have been on it before, maybe you didn’t suffer as much from these side effects?

      Also, I think it’s really important that you follow a good diet and make sure that you are taking Inositol, Omega 3 and Vitamin D. Also, doing regular exercise along with the supplements and diet should really help to manage all of your PCOS symptoms, including your weight.

      Tarryn

    2. I was on Metformin and the gastro-intestinal side effects are awful. Everything i ate went right through me. My friend had the same side effects as well. Personally i was not happy when i was taking it and refuse to take it now. I love that I found this site because after everything i have been through, I think Tarryn has found the secret. Diet, exercise, and reducing stress will have the major impact on PCOS.

    3. Hello, I took metformin to help me get pregnant. The only way I could take it was if I added calcium citrate with vitamin d supplement and took it at the same time. I also had to have a normal meal with carbs (no salad). I did loose weight without dieting. I haven’t gone back on it since having my twins. I’m trying to control my pcos with a slow carb diet, exercise and tons of vitamin d. I’m low on vitamin D so when the Doctor prescribe me 50,000 IU of Vitamin D I did have a regular menstrual cycle twice. She did not renew my prescription so now I just started taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D and some calcium. I’m experimenting on myself to see if it helps me get a regular cycle.

      1. Hey Maria

        Could u please tell what was your vitD level. Mine is something like 10 and doctor said is very low. I had tons of difficulty losing weight in-spite of diet and exercise. Any suggestions

  20. Hi Tarryn,

    Thanks for sharing this article and for your inspirational blog. I look forward to many more updates on PCOS from you!

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