Metformin is often the first treatment option given to type 2 diabetics. While it has many advantages, this prescription medication can also deplete several nutrients that are essential to proper functions within the body.
Have you heard of hypoglycemia? This occurs when your blood sugar drops too low. It can cause issues such as low energy, headaches and even seizures. The good news is that there are nutrients that can help support your blood glucose levels.
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
You’ve probably heard about the power of hormones and there’s a reason why. We know that hormones are our body’s chemical messengers and they are incredibly powerful, meaning that it only takes a tiny little amount to cause big changes or fluctuations within the way that our body is actually functioning. The way that hormones work is they travel in our bloodstream to different tissues and organs and they work over time. They affect so many different aspects of the way that our body works, including metabolism, reproduction, mood, sexual function, growth, development and more.†
This is all driven by the different endocrine glands, which is going to be the primary source where the hormones are secreted from. We have things such as the pituitary gland, pineal gland, thymus, thyroid, adrenals and pancreas, for example. In men, we utilize the testes and in women, we are looking at the ovaries. Today, I want to focus on PCOS, which is polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is much more common than many women even realize.†
What is PCOS?
Hormones are a driving factor for so many bodily functions and systems. In the setting of PCOS, this is a hormonal metabolic disorder that causes a variety of different presenting symptoms, such as irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, facial hair and insulin resistance. You can see how the hormones are driving all of this. When you look at the irregular menstrual cycle, clearly that’s hormonally-driven. We know that, once again, hormones are the underlying issue for ovarian cysts.†
When we look at the statistical amount of women who are actually suffering from PCOS, it is really quite profound. In the United States, roughly 10% of women of child-bearing age have PCOS. It’s one of the most common causes of female infertility. 10% of women are struggling with this hormonal condition and we see the resulting problems. Oftentimes, women who have PCOS can then develop other serious health issues such as diabetes brought on because of that insulin resistance. Certainly, if they do find that they get pregnant, then gestational diabetes can be an issue.†
Learn more about health risks related to PCOS by tuning into the full podcast episode.
Lifestyle and Dietary Changes
With that many women in the United States suffering from PCOS, we have to look at what they can be doing to help with their condition. The first thing is to screen and do comprehensive blood testing. Looking at fasting insulin is really, really important. Looking at free and total testosterone levels and cardiovascular risk factors is also incredibly important. These are things that need to be done.†
We do realize that the Standard American Diet, which is high in bad carbohydrates and saturated fats, is certainly going to be a driving force to making PCOS worse. The best choice for women who have PCOS is going to be the Mediterranean diet. We also have to look at regular exercise, which can help to improve insulin resistance.†
We can also look at nutrients such as chromium and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). NAC is so incredibly important for allowing the body to manufacture glutathione, but we also recognize that NAC helps to improve upon insulin sensitivity. For many women who fall into that category of having infertility, when they take NAC, this can really be beneficial. This relates to better regulation in terms of that hormonal control.†
Listen to the full podcast episode to learn more about important nutrients for women with PCOS.
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Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids that comes from the plant kingdom. It has been used throughout history not only for its culinary uses but also its numerous health benefits, which is why it is considered a powerful superfood.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is one of the most common hormonal problems, impacting up to 12% of all women. Here’s what you need to know about nutrients that can be beneficial.
What are Soy Isoflavones?
Soy Isoflavones are antioxidant and phytoestrogen plant-derived components from the soybean plant. Commonly consumed through soy-based foods like soy flours and soy proteins, soy isoflavones are also found in dietary supplements. A new study conducted by Arak University of Medical Sciences and Kashan University of Medical Sciences in Iran say soy can also benefit women suffering from PCOS.
What is PCOS?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) happens when a women’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce more male hormones than normal, resulting in cysts that can develop on the ovaries. Symptoms of PCOS include, excess hair growth, pelvic pain, and infertility. PCOS has also been known to be associated with metabolic syndrome, which contributes to both diabetes and heart disease.
The study to discover the benefits soy isoflavones have on PCOS was performed on 70 women diagnosed with PCOS between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Participants were split into two groups – one taking 50mg of soy isoflavones or a placebo – every day for 12 weeks. Researchers tested metabolic, endocrine, inflammation, and oxidative stress biomarkers through participant’s blood samples both at the beginning and end of the 12-week trial. Participants were instructed to maintain their level of exercise and to avoid taking other supplements during the time of the study.
Results showed, compared to the placebo group, soy isoflavones “significantly decreased circulating levels of insulin and other biological markers associated with insulin resistance (a condition where the body’s tissues are resistant to the effects of insulin, which can lead to type 2 diabetes). Supplementation with soy isoflavones also resulted in significant reductions in testosterone, harmful cholesterol known as LDL, and triglyceride levels”, in comparison to results from those in the placebo group.
Though researchers did not observe significant benefits for the other biomarkers – lipid (fat) profiles, inflammatory and oxidative stress markers – Dr. Zatollah Asemi, Ph. D. says, “There is growing interest in how adding soy to the diet can help address metabolic syndrome and related health conditions. Our findings indicate consuming soy isoflavones regularly may help women with PCOS improve their metabolic and cardiovascular health.”