Dr. H. Singh, ND
Therapeutic Effects of Quercetin for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is largely driven by underlying issues including, but not limited to, insulin resistance, hyperandrogegism, increased inflammation and elevated oxidative stress. While these driving factors may not be the cause of PCOS, they determine whether a Patient's experience with PCOS will be difficult or more easily managed.
In our previous posts we discussed many risk factors and additional interventions that have been studied to support the management of PCOS. A newly published review evaluated for the early and still limited research available on the use of Quercetin on the treatment of PCOS.
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in various vegetables and herbal products. Its use has been studied for the treatment of various conditions, including certain viral infections, allergies, digestive illness and much more. Quercetin has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and insulin sensitizing effects.
Its use in the treatment of PCOS is still limited, but early studies are suggesting promising results. And the findings from these studies should be verified with larger and higher quality studies.
Can Quercetin treat Hyperandrogenism?
The elevation in androgen hormones disrupts the normal hormonal equilibrium in Patients with PCOS. It negatively affects the signalling of hormones from the hypothalamus gland, pituitary gland and ovaries. The higher androgen has been implicated in lowering egg quality, causing hair growth on the body and hair loss on the scalp. It may also drive insulin resistance and interferes with regular ovulatory function and contributes to amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea.
The limited research available found that in human trials treatment with quercetin was able to help reduce testosterone levels in the blood after 12 weeks of treatment. It was also found that treatment with quercetin lowered the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland. The results were statistically significant when compared to the control group that received placebo.
Can Quercetin help with Insulin Resistance?
The limited research did find that insulin resistance was improved after treatment with quercetin, however, the results did not reach statistical significance. Additional research found that treatment was able to help increase adiponectin signalling (a hormone that helps to lower insulin resistance and reduce inflammation in the body). The researchers mentioned that additional studies are required to help determine if quercetin can actually help improve insulin resistance in Patients with PCOS.
This article is being shared as educational content and is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor. Please discuss with your healthcare provider and only make changes to your medications regimen if recommended by your doctor and under their guidance and supervision.