Help for PCOS in a Nutritional Supplement?

By Kate Winship
June 20, 2008
Clomid Pharmacy Blog

Medical research is discovering that selected nutritional supplements can be helpful for some women who have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). PCOS is a complex glandular and metabolic disorder that affects 6%-10% of women of reproductive age.

Symptoms of PCOS include infertility, weight gain, acne, excess hair, hair loss, and depression. There is an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and possibly some cancers.

Conventional therapy for polycystic ovary syndrome includes birth control pills, medications and surgery. However, these methods do not provide a conclusive cure for PCOS.

Fortunately, there are natural therapies available that any woman can use such as a healthy diet, plentiful exercise, stress management and nutritional supplementation. One of the nutritional supplements worth considering is NAC (n-acetyl-cysteine).

NAC is a derivative of cysteine, an amino acid found in high protein and other foods. NAC is not found in the diet but is available as a nutritional supplement. It is also available as a FDA-approved prescription drug.

Some medical studies suggest that NAC could have the following health benefits for PCOS women.

It is also available as a FDA-approved prescription drug. Some medical studies suggest that NAC could have the following health benefits for PCOS women.

1) NAC reduces undesirable insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the inability to efficiently utilize the hormone insulin and is now thought to be a primary cause of PCOS. So anything you can do to reduce insulin resistance helps to relieve PCOS symptoms, improve fertility odds, and reduce future risk of diabetes and heart disease.

2) NAC lowers homocysteine. Homocysteine is a blood protein. A normal amount is OK. But women with polycystic ovary syndrome tend to have higher levels. An excessive level of homocysteine is toxic and is associated with heart disease and other health problems.

3) NAC improves the effectiveness of Clomid, a fertility drug. Clomid is often the first thing your doctor will give you if you are trying to conceive.

4) Acting as an antioxidant, NAC may provide reproductive support and improve egg quality.

NAC is considered safe. Consult with your doctor before taking NAC, especially if you are taking the drug metformin. If you are taking a substantial dose of NAC, you may need to reduce the dosage of metformin. Although NAC has not been shown to have any adverse effect on the fetus, you should check with your doctor before taking NAC if you are pregnant. Do not take NAC while also taking nitroglycerin.

How much NAC should you take? The answer to that question depends on your unique health profile and needs. It’s best to consult with a qualified health professional for the dose most appropriate for you.


Bill Slater and Dr. Nancy Dunne are co-authors of The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility.Visit to get more information about NAC.Bill Slater is the former co-founder of an integrative medicine clinic and consultant to naturopathic physicians. He has 25 years experience in the holistic health field. Dr. Nancy Dunne is a licensed primary care physician in Missoula, Montana. Since 1989, her specialty is natural medicine for improving women’s health, especially PCOS and infertility.

Next Steps

  1. Take the PCOS Quiz!  Get your score and assess your hormone health risks.
  2. Join our Facebook Sisterhood Group Pose your questions to this group of like-minded women. Get the answers to your questions and the support you need.
  3. Checkout the Hormone Reset. Guided Practices to eliminate anxiety, lose weight and boost energy.

We are committed to helping women reverse their symptoms of hormone imbalance – a major cause of excess weight gain, adult acne, unwanted facial hair, depression, anxiety, and heartbreaking female infertility.

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