3 Major Benefits of Curcumin for PCOS

Have you wondered about the benefits of curcumin for PCOS? Curcumin, a component of turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Here is what to know about taking curcumin and three big benefits of curcumin for PCOS.

Turmeric or Curcumin: What’s the Difference?

Turmeric is a root (rhizome) that comes from a tropical flowering plant in the ginger family named Curcuma longa. One of the main curcuminoids is curcumin. Curcumin is a major component of turmeric, and the activities of turmeric are commonly attributed to curcuminoids (curcumin and closely related substances). It is actually curcumin that gives turmeric its yellow color.

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that may promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.* It also promotes brain, heart, immune, and joint health, and supports healthy aging.* This ancient spice is a popular herbal supplement due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

There are some well designed trials that studied turmeric and curcumin use in patients with PCOS with encouraging results. Here are 3 major benefits of taking curcumin for PCOS.

Curcumin Improves Blood Sugar and Insulin

Many people will be happy to hear that a major health benefit of curcumin for PCOS is that it has been shown to help improve glucose and insulin levels.

A triple-blind randomized controlled trial looked at the effect of curcumin on metabolic parameters in women with PCOS. In this study, women with PCOS received two 500 mg of curcumin tablets taken together at the same time each day for 12 weeks. Fasting blood sugar (glucose) levels in the curcumin group were significantly lower than in the placebo group.

After the intervention, menstrual regularity in the curcumin group was significantly lower than in the placebo group (13% vs. 22%, P = 0.038).

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) found that curcumin supplementation improved glucose parameters among women with PCOS. A Meta-analysis of five randomized studies (296 participants) showed that curcumin supplementation alone or in combination with metformin significantly reduced fasting glucose levels, insulin levels, and HOMA-IR (Homeostatic Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance) index.

A previous study suggested curcumin has a synergistic effect with metformin in the improvement of insulin resistance and cholesterol in patients with PCOS.

Curcumin Lowers Cholesterol in PCOS

Dyslipidemia (high LDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and low HDL) is common in the PCOS population. New research suggests curcumin may provide benefits to people with PCOS by improving cholesterol levels.

A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis of studies found curcumin supplementation may improve cholesterol, specifically in improving HDL and total cholesterol, and inflammation in patients with PCOS without significant adverse effects.

PCOS Tumeric Curcumin

Most Tumeric Curcumin supplement blends are not well absorbed. We’ve formulated the PCOS Nutrition Center Tumeric Curcumin Complex with a highly bioavailable form of curcumin for maximum absorption. Available now in our supplement store.

Curcumin is Anti-Inflammatory

It has been shown that women with PCOS have higher levels of inflammation compared to women without the condition. Low-grade chronic inflammation has been suggested as part of the underlying PCOS condition. As an anti-inflammatory, curcumin has been shown to benefit people with PCOS by suppressing inflammation.

Curcumin is often used as a treatment for arthritis and joint pain. Several studies conducted in people with osteoarthritis found that taking curcumin provided the same benefits as and those taking ibuprofen, but with less side effects. Curcumin can reduce joint inflammation and alleviate pain symptoms in those with arthritis, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory effects.

Interestingly, curcumin, when used in combination with resveratrol, and Vitamin D can enhance its anti-inflammatory effects.

Oxidative stress occurs when cells get damaged. Women with PCOS have been shown to have higher levels of oxidative stress. As an antioxidant, curcumin has been shown to improve oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals and protecting cells from damage.

Bottom line: There are many benefits of Tumeric (Curcumin) for PCOS. These benefits include improving blood sugar, insulin, and cholesterol levels, acting as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage, and anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate pain and inflammation. Most studies used 500 mg of curcumin up to three times a day safely in people with PCOS.

Have you tried using curcumin? Let us know your experience with it in the comments.

pcos dietitian angela grassiAngela Grassi, MS, RDN, LDN, is the founder of The PCOS Nutrition Center, for which she has been providing evidence-based nutrition information and coaching to people with PCOS for over 20 years. Angela is the author of several books on PCOS, including PCOS: The Dietitian’s Guide, The PCOS Workbook: Your Guide to Complete Physical and Emotional Health, and The PCOS Nutrition Center Cookbook. Angela is the past recipient of The Outstanding Nutrition Entrepreneur Award, The Award in Excellence in Practice in Women’s Health, and The Award for Excellence in Graduate Research, from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Having PCOS herself, Angela has been dedicated to advocacy, education, and research of the syndrome. Click here to schedule a session with Angela to learn more about how nutrition coaching for PCOS can help you!

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