The Best Supplements for PCOS | Natural Hormone Balance | Dr. Taz

In my integrative medicine clinic, CentreSpringMD in Atlanta, hardly a week goes by that I don’t meet a patient who suspects–or has already been told by a doctor–that she has PCOS. She usually isn’t aware of the best supplements for PCOS, or that her symptoms can be managed with holistic medicine, diet, and lifestyle.

PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome, and it’s the leading cause of infertility in women in the U.S. affecting as high as 12% of women during their reproductive years (though some estimates are higher). It’s the culprit of many missed periods, PMS, hormonal acne, and weight gain for many of its sufferers. 

Here is the list of the best supplements for PCOS we’ll be talking about in this article:

  • Berberine
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
  • Probiotics
  • Inositol
  • Magnesium
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Vitamin D
  • Chaste Tree Berry
  • Maca root
  • Shatavari

Doctors and scientists are yet sure what causes PCOS, but we do know that it is possible to manage PCOS symptoms with holistic medicine, diet, lifestyle, and the right supplements.

If you want to jump straight to the guide, download the FREE PCOS guide here. 

Contrary to popular belief, birth control does not treat PCOS. It can temporarily mask symptoms, but it doesn’t address the root cause of PCOS. PCOS is a combination of related imbalances all characterized by an overlapping set of symptoms, such as:

  • High androgen levels (male hormones)
  • Acne
  • Facial or body hair growth (known as hirsutism)
  • Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
  • Anovulatory cycles (not ovulating)
  • Ovarian cysts

What causes these symptoms to occur in the first place? Inflammation, insulin, and high androgen levels are at the root cause of PCOS. Holistic medicine addresses all of these underlying issues to improve symptoms. 

So how can supplements gently steer your hormones and your PCOS symptoms in a better direction? Find out how you can make a big difference in managing your PCOS symptoms to support fertility, hormone balance, healthier hair, and more. 

The Best PCOS Supplements 


Inositol is in the B vitamin family, and is one of the best supplements for PCOS symptoms because of its overall support of hormone function and insulin. Most studies examine benefits using myo-inositol or D-chiro-inositol.

Some benefits of myo-inositol for PCOS (1,2,3): 

  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Weight loss
  • Less facial hair growth
  • Improves ovarian function
  • Supports overall hormone balance
  • Promote egg quality 
  • Reduced risk of diabetes

Inositol may also reduce inflammation associated with PCOS, which is at the root cause of metabolic symptoms. Supporting metabolic health with holistic medicine is one of the most important parts of wellness for women.

In my formula, Hormone Helper, you can find 1,500 mg of myo-inositol, in addition to adaptogenic maca root and choline, which is essential for healthy hormone balance. 


Maca root has been used traditionally to boost fertility, stamina, energy, and libido. It’s considered an adaptogen, which supports balance in the HPA axis and helps your body better adapt to stress.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome often causes fatigue, anxiety, and even depression, but some studies show maca may be the best PCOS supplement to improve these symptoms. 

In one study, participants reported decreased feelings of anxiety and depression, in addition to fewer complaints concerning sexual dysfunction (4). 

Hormone Helper is formulated specifically to address hormonal imbalance and support energy and fertility. 


One hallmark of PCOS is ovulatory dysfunction suspected to be driven by insulin resistance. Berberine may be one of the best supplements for PCOS and insulin resistance. 

In 2019, a meta-analysis showed that berberine was effective in reducing insulin resistance, and androgen levels, in addition to LH/FSH ratio in women with PCOS when compared with metformin (5). 

Another study reported that berberine reduces insulin resistance in ovarian cells and decreases excessive testosterone production (6). 

Read more: 10 Ways to Lose Weight with PCOS

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

In a trial involving 100 women with PCOS, researchers compared the blood-sugar regulating drug, Metformin (commonly prescribed for PCOS) with NAC. Women were given 600 mg of NAC three times a day or 500 mg metformin three times daily. They found that both treatments significantly reduced menstrual irregularities, free testosterone, and insulin levels (7).

N-acetyl cysteine is the best supplement for PCOS and antioxidant production, inflammation, and insulin regulation. 


An unhealthy gut is a big problem for hormone imbalance and PCOS. Studies have shown that women with PCOS have a greater likelihood of dysbiosis and less diverse gut bacteria overall than those without PCOS.

Researchers have also found that higher androgens (like testosterone) resulted in fewer “friendly” gut bacteria (8). 

Related: What’s the Gut-Hormone Connection?


Women who have PCOS might be up to 19 times more likely to have a magnesium deficiency, and this can worsen symptoms of anxiety, weight gain, and fatigue (9). Magnesium is the best supplement for PCOS and metabolic health, as well as energy production. Magnesium and holistic medicine can improve PCOS symptoms.

You can get more magnesium with foods like leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and avocados, or take a supplement like magnesium malate or magnesium bisglycinate.

Saw palmetto

Saw palmetto can have a significant effect in reducing symptoms of PCOS, especially hair loss. This supplement reduces an enzyme which changes testosterone to an even more potent androgen called DHT.

Too much DHT can make PCOS symptoms like hair loss, facial hair growth, acne, and menstrual irregularities a lot worse. So inhibiting this pathway of testosterone to DHT can help lessen the severity of some PCOS symptoms.

Often, those who have PCOS think the problem with their thinning hair is happening on their head, instead of as a result of hormone balance. This is how holistic medicine can rebalance the body as a whole, instead of focusing on isolated symptoms.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency has significant negative effects in not only women with PCOS, but in reproductive health for ALL women. Symptoms of low vitamin D levels include things that are already problematic for those with PCOS like insulin resistance, weight gain, and increased risk of chronic metabolic diseases.

Recent research also explains vitamin D’s role in egg development in the ovaries. It not only improves egg quality, but also helps follicles push and release a healthy egg from the ovaries for fertilization (10). 


In Ayurveda, shatavari is used to support overall hormone balance and enhance fertility. It’s often used as part of a traditional protocol to first detox the body, and restore healthy hormone function and ovulation with the goal of becoming pregnant. Shatavari may play a role in follicle health and maturity (11).   

Using Holistic Medicine to Treat PCOS Symptoms

PCOS Supplements for Hair Loss

Hair growth is in a constant cycle. Each strand of hair is following its own pattern of growth and replacement. Excess androgens–like which occur with PCOS–negatively impact your hair growth cycle as it shortens the growth (or ‘anagen’) phase. It also lengthens the time between when that hair follicle sheds and the beginning of a new growth phase.

Saw palmetto and zinc, when used in combination, can reduce the enzyme activity which converts testosterone to an even more powerful androgen, DHT. It’s this DHT that’s responsible for hair loss and thinning hair on your head. Block this conversion, and you’ll support fuller, healthier hair.

Fo-ti root – Known in traditional Chinese medicine as He Shou Wu, this root increases the expression of proteins involved in the anagen (or growth) phase of a hair follicle, increasing the time each hair spends in it’s growth phase (12). 

PCOS Supplements for Fertility and Healthy Cycles

If you have PCOS, you may experience what are called anovulatory cycles, which means your ovaries aren’t releasing an egg each month. Ovulation also won’t occur if you’re on hormonal birth control. But ovulation is important even if you’re not trying to get pregnant. Ovulation helps produce progesterone, and without adequate amounts, you may experience more anxiety, irregular (or missing) periods, and worse PMS.

N-Acetyl cysteine – A systematic review found that NAC supplementation improved pregnancy and ovulation rates in women with PCOS (13). 

Inositol – Many studies support the benefits of inositol for women who have PCOS. In one, 88% of participants restored their missing period during the 6 months study period, and 72% had normal ovulation during their follow up. This same study also resulted in 10 out of the 25 women becoming pregnant (14). 

Vitamin D Healthy levels of vitamin D actually help the ovaries develop healthy follicles. This is important because follicles are responsible for releasing the egg during ovulation. Vitamin D also plays a role in period regulation and overall fertility.  

PCOS Supplements for Weight Loss

Berberine has been shown to support insulin sensitivity and normal ovulatory function, as well as the common diabetes drug, metformin (15). 

Magnesium – Magnesium can help with weight loss, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar balance in women with PCOS. This is because magnesium can help improve metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of symptoms like insulin resistance and weight gain that often occur with PCOS (16). 

Probiotics – Keeping your gut healthy is one of the most important things you can do if you have PCOS. Probiotics can help promote good bacteria that help to keep harmful bacteria like Candida in check. Candida in particular have been shown to contribute to insulin resistance, furthering the cycle of PCOS symptoms (17). 

Read more: Which Probiotics Can Help You Lose Weight?

PCOS Supplements for Fatigue

Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng, is an adaptogen. Adaptogens help your body cope with stress than can exhaust adrenal glands and zap your energy. Research supports the use of maca root to enhance energy, stamina, and overall well being (18). 

Vitamin B6, folate, and B12 are especially important for managing energy and hormone balance with PCOS. These 3 B vitamins in particular help break down inflammatory proteins and play a significant role in detox and energy production.

Are you low in B vitamins? Optimize your energy and hormones with fully-activated B vitamins.

Learn more: How to Fight PCOS Fatigue Naturally

Using Supplements to Treat PCOS Symptoms Naturally

It’s important to remember that supplements don’t take the place of diet and lifestyle changes to treat PCOS. Though using the right supplements can help you maximize your wellness efforts to treat PCOS symptoms naturally. The best supplements to help you treat PCOS symptoms naturally support hormone balance, metabolic health, and inflammation. 

If you’re looking for a place to begin understanding your PCOS journey, download the free PCOS survival guide, or work with a qualified holistic medicine practitioner in your area.