7. Vitamin D to boost fertility and mood
Vitamin D is critical for the normal functioning of the human body and this vitamin is interlinked with several crucial bodily systems, including healthy egg development. Having a lack of this vitamin can raise your risk of developing elevated blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular problems – and if you have PCOS, there’s a heightened chance you could be deficient, as around 67-85% of PCOS sufferers are.
A lack of Vitamin D has also been linked to metabolic syndrome, which 33% of women who have PCOS experience and this further increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Increasing your levels of vitamin D can help – studies show that the insulin, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels in overweight women with PCOS improved after an eight week period of supplementation.
Another study, published in the Clinical Nutrition Journal found that Vitamin D had the potential to lower high blood pressure in PCOS sufferers, when taken in combination with calcium supplements. As Vitamin D can also help boost mood, and as women who have PCOS often struggle with depression and anxiety, supplementing with this vitamin could benefit your mental health as well.
Recommended amounts of Vitamin D vary somewhat, but generally adult females aged between 19-50 years, should be consuming around 600 IU daily. If you suffer from PCOS, you may need to take more, or you might not get enough to make a difference in your symptoms.
Most of us absorb up to 90% of our Vitamin D from sunlight but it can be difficult to obtain in colder countries, particularly in winter. Though this vitamin is found in oily fish like mackerel and salmon, eggs and fortified foods such as cereal, many people still struggle to obtain optimum amounts from their diet alone, which is where supplementation can help. A vitamin D deficiency can often indicate a sedentary lifestyle with limited sunlight exposure, so alongside supplementation, you may need to make an active effort to boost your sunlight exposure. If you live in an area with limited or no sunlight, using a sun lamp can be a great way to get more daily sunlight exposure.