What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that greatly impacts the lives of up to 18% of women all over the world. PCOS affects multiple systems of the body including our metabolic, reproductive, and mental health. The long-term associations of PCOS include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. This is why daily lifelong management is important. While we are still learning much regarding root causes and treatment options, there is evidence that particular minerals may play a role.
Why is Magnesium Important for PCOS?
Magnesium is crucial for women with PCOS for several reasons. Research shows that magnesium can:
- Manage Insulin Resistance
- women with PCOS have an increased risk and prevalence of insulin resistance (PCOS Guidelines 2018)
- Reduce Inflammation
- markers of systemic inflammation are frequently elevated in women with PCOS (Escobar-Morreale et al., 2011)
- Improve Sleep
- sleep disturbances are more prevalent in women with PCOS (Fernandez et al., 2018)
- Alleviate Anxiety
- women with PCOS experience more anxiety disorders (Chaudhari et al., 2018)
- Lower Blood Pressure
- PCOS fighters are at higher risk of hypertension (Chang et al., 2016)
I was the lead author of a clinical study published earlier this year in Food Science & Nutrition which assessed dietary intake in women with and without PCOS (Cutler et al., 2019). One of our findings was that magnesium intake was decreased in women with insulin-resistant PCOS. In addition, we found that the greater magnesium women with PCOS consumed, the lower their levels of testosterone and markers of inflammation were.
How Much Magnesium Do We Need?
The recommended daily amount of magnesium is 320 mg for an adult woman. This will vary depending on factors such as body size and stage of life. Some foods that are great sources of magnesium include legumes, whole grains, broccoli, squash, green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, and dark chocolate.
In health, Dr. Dylan Cutler, Ph.D.
- Oral magnesium supplementation decreases C-reactive protein levels in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesemia: a clinical randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
- Magnesium supplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep.
- The effect of lowering blood pressure by magnesium supplementation in diabetic hypertensive adults with low serum magnesium levels: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
This article is sponsored by Natural Calm Canada.
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