Zinc and PCOS – 8 Reasons you should be taking Zinc for your PCOS

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
  • Diarrhea
  • 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).

Improved Ovulation

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).

Improved Hirsutism

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).

Clearer Skin

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).

Counteracts Inflammation

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.

Fights Depression

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!

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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.

22 Responses

22 Responses

  1. Hi Tarryn,
    Huge Thanks for all the support and research you offer.
    The Zink Supplement you posted states it’s sold out. Is there a second or third brand you would recommend?


    1. Hi tarryn
      I also would like to order Zinc but saw its out of stock and they dont know when they will get in again.Can we maybe see if clicks also have it or not?

  2. Thanks for this info. If I don’t want to take another supplement, what foods can I eat daily to ensure I’m getting plenty of zinc in diet?

  3. Hi Tarryn ,

    Is all zinc the same ? All the supplements here in Australia seem to state a different terminology on the bottle for eg zinc gluconate , zinc amino acid chelate , zinc glycinate is this all the same zinc or if different which is best for PCOS ? all very confusing !
    Thank you 🙂

  4. When I turned about 40 I started to get extreme cystic acne and my hair started shedding. After speaking to several doctors over several years with very little help, I discovered (on my own) Solgar Chelated Zinc Glycinate. It changed my life! Completely cleared up my acne and stopped my hair from falling out. I highly recommend it to any woman suffering from any androgen like issues as these

  5. Hi! I just started taking 25 mg of Zinc – it’s only been a week, however, my period this month is abnormally heavy— is this why? If it’s a good thing that’s wonderful! It was scary at first until I started putting the pieces together. Thanks😊

  6. Is it true that one should be taking 2mg copper for every 14mg zinc? I remember reading this in “8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS” by Fiona McCullogh (highly recommended!)

  7. Hi Kristina,
    Have you seen any improvement taking these supliments? My main concern is my hair (I used to have thick curly hair think woopi goldburg, now I’m lucky if it’s a s thick as my finger) I have other complaints to, acne,oily skin, irregular periods, low energy etc. I’m going to order the supliments tonight.

  8. I’ve PCOS since I was a teen (I’m 25 now) – irregular periods and hirsitusm.

    A few months ago, I started taking Zinc 25mg per day. Miraciously, I had three periods on time! It’s my fourth month and I’m late for my period and don’t have any pre-period symptoms either…

    In addition, my hirsitum (particually facial hair) is getting worse since taking Zinc!

    Any suggestions/insight?

    Thank you <3

  9. I’ve had PCOS and hirsutism for many years. I started taking 25mg of zinc a few months ago – periods are becoming more regular, but no change in facial hair yet. Question: Can I take zinc long term or should I take a break after a certain number of months?

  10. Tarryn
    Myself and a co-worker have recently been diagnosed with PCOS. I have guided her to your site/emails. She is on Metformin, as I am not. She wanted to know if taking Zinc supplement will have effects/counteract with Metformin?
    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Staci,

      Metformin and Zinc should be fine to take together but you can ask her to speak to her doctor if she’s not sure.

  11. I have the same question as an earlier commenter: if my parental vitamin has 100 % of my DV of Zinc, should I still supplement with extra zinc or can you take too much? I read a review somewhere if someone who took too much and was extremely sick from it.

  12. I track my food intake/ calories/ protein, etc with the online site, Cronometer. Through Cronometer, I can see trends in my food intake, and what I need to work on. In an average week, I get about 87 % of my zinc intake just from food. This comes from eating oatmeal, soy milk, chia seeds, walnuts, and even spearmint tea ( a few cups of that tea, per day, contributes 4 % of my zinc for the day). Yes, I do take a women’s 50+ multivitamin, every day, as well.

    I find that tracking my food helps with weight loss, as well. I was able to (very slowly) lose about 15 lbs/ 6.8 kgs in about 7 weeks, which is positive. Now to work on the remaining 30 lbs….and I can do it !

  13. Omg this is great info am so going to some zine and hopefully it will help me heal my PCOS and get back sex drive and I have never enjoyed sex and all so lose weight and be able to fall asleep much quicker 💕💕🦋❤️

  14. If there is already Zinc in the prenatal vitamin I take, would I need to take any extra? Per the bottle, there is 25mg of Zinc in my daily vitamin.

  15. This is great info. I was having so many of these symptoms recently and figured it may have been low zinc. I used to do Seed Cycling and it was really helpful for my menstrual cycles, but my stomach was bothering me so I stopped. I’m now using sprouted ( organic ) seeds and I’m much better. I say this because of the high levels of zinc in the pumpkin and sunflower seeds I use in seed cycling. Sure enough, all my low zinc symptoms went away!

  16. Hi! I am taking 50 of zinc as I read that was recommended and 5000 vit d3 as well as NAC, saw palmetto, chromium, b complex magnesium and calcium combination pill any idea on when to take them?? I love your site so much! My main PCOS problems are cystic acne fatigue and hair loss on My head 🙁

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