Vitamins and minerals are essential for our bodies to function. If we don’t get them in the right quantity, our bodies start to falter. It’s like putting petrol in a diesel engine. It just doesn’t work as it should. But the thing is, PCOS leaves us deficient in a lot of these key vitamins and minerals. So today, let’s look at the link between Zinc and PCOS and 8 reasons you should be taking a Zinc supplement.
What does Zinc do?
Zinc is so important in our bodies for so many different reasons:
- Zinc plays a role in the making, storage and release of insulin
- Break down of carbohydrates
- Thyroid function
- Immune health
Zinc deficiency in women with PCOS
Well, the research on Zinc deficiency and PCOS is really interesting. Women with PCOS tend to be deficient in Zinc and have lower blood serum concentrations. So, I think that supplementing with Zinc is something that we should all seriously consider (1).
And, the birth control pill can also cause a Zinc deficiency. I’m sure that there are hundreds of thousands of us who were routinely put on the pill to “treat” our PCOS. If you are one of them, as am I, you may want to think about taking a Zinc supplement (2).
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency
Some of these may really interest you:
- Poor memory
- Weakened immune system or constant minor illnesses like colds
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sleep problems (zinc is needed to make melatonin)
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Low libido
- Brain fog
- Slow wound healing
- White spots on fingernails
- Thinning hair and alopecia
- In severe cases: growth retardation in children
Do some of those seem familiar to you?
Brain fog, low libido, hair loss… Those are all pretty common in women with PCOS.
So, here are 8 reasons you should consider supplementing with Zinc if you have PCOS:
Improved Blood Sugar Control
We know one of the main hormones affected by PCOS is insulin. We tend to produce too much insulin and that insulin causes our ovaries to produce too much testosterone.
So, if Zinc can help with insulin sensitivity and improved glucose control, we’ll have less testosterone being produced by the ovaries and see an improvement in all of our PCOS symptoms (3).
Zinc is crucial in the maturation and development of follicles. So, supplementing with Zinc will not only help to make your cycle more regular it will also help to boost your fertility (4).
Hirsutism is one of the symptoms that many women with PCOS struggle with. And it is a symptom that takes a long time to resolve. Well, Zinc has also been shown to be an anti-androgen. What this means is that it will help reduce the level of androgens and testosterone in the body, leading to an improvement in hirsutism (5).
If you need another good reason to take Zinc, it will also help with Acne. Zinc has been used for many years in topical acne products but it has also been shown to help with acne when taken as a supplement (6).
We know that women with PCOS are prone to chronic inflammation. This inflammation is also linked to insulin resistance and will make our PCOS symptoms that much worse. However, Zinc has been shown to combat inflammation and alleviate some of it’s symptoms. This will in turn lead to lower insulin levels and less testosterone being produced.
Reduces Hair Loss
Remember how we spoke about Zinc being an anti androgen? Well, as an anti-androgen, it also help with hair loss and alopecia.
The highest concentration of Zinc in our bodies is in our brain. And people struggling with depression tend to have a Zinc deficiency. Supplementing with Zinc can improve mood and resiliency (7).
Supports Thyroid Health
PCOS and Hypothyroidism often go hand in hand and women with PCOS are more prone to Hyporthyroidism. Well, Zinc is important for thyroid function so supplementing with Zinc can help to give your thyroid a boost (8).
So, there you have it – 8 reasons to start taking a thyroid supplement.
Supplementing with Zinc
Now, the good news is that you actually don’t need a lot of Zinc everyday and your body cannot store excess Zinc – it simply gets rid of it.
However, too much Zinc leads to problems with absorption of other key vitamins minerals.
So, you need just the right amount at just the right time.
You should take 20-30mg per day and it is safe to take when pregnant or breastfeeding.
I have just ordered some Zinc for myself and this is the one that I went for.
I look forward to seeing the results that I get when taking a Zinc supplement. Are you taking Zinc and have you seen any improvements in your symptoms?
Let me know and leave me a comment below!