PCOS Supplements to Lower Cholesterol

It’s not unusual for people with PCOS to have high cholesterol. Dyslipidemia (low HDL or “good” cholesterol, high LDL “bad” cholesterol and high triglycerides) have been shown to affect up to 70% of women with PCOS. The good news: cholesterol levels can be reversed with nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes.

Over the past decade, emerging science has investigated how nutritional supplements used in the PCOS population can help lower cholesterol levels. Here are five of the most highly researched PCOS supplements shown to lower cholesterol

Fish Oil

Fish oil is one of the most effective ways to lower elevated triglycerides (the blood storage form of fat). High triglycerides can occur if you have high insulin levels.

Nutrition guidelines recommend we consume cold-water or fatty fish two times per week to reap the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, halibut, tuna, and trout are the best sources of omega-3s. Even if you eat these types of fish twice a week or more, you may consider taking a fish oil supplement to help lower elevated triglycerides. Most people need between 1 and 4 grams daily, depending on how high their triglyceride levels are.



NAC is a powerful antioxidant that has been compared with metformin in women with PCOS. In the studies, not only did NAC improve insulin levels on par with metformin, but this favorite PCOS supplement lowered cholesterol levels better than the common medication did, especially for total and LDL levels.

pcos berberine


Berberine is an herbal supplement shown to be very effective to lower cholesterol levels in PCOS.

Berberine works by slowing the release of free fatty acids while boosting fat burning in the mitochondria to lower cholesterol levels. Berberine also inhibits the enzyme lipoprotein lipase which is responsible for producing cholesterol and triglycerides. Berberine has also been shown to promote cholesterol excretion from the liver to bile.

When compared with metformin in women with PCOS, berberine reduced total cholesterol, TG, and LDL significantly more than metformin did. Berberine also increased HDL (the good kind) significantly more than metformin.

In people with type 2 diabetes, berberine when combined with oral lipid lowering drugs was better than lipid lowering drugs alone in reducing total and LDL cholesterol and raising the level of HDL.


Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin of grapes, berries, red wine and peanuts, has been known for anti-aging, anticancer, and cardioprotective properties.

Rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, resveratrol has been shown to have the potential to fight inflammation as well as lower cholesterol and insulin.

A review of 16 studies showed supplementing with resveratrol (> 500mg daily for 10 weeks or more) can significantly reduce triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol.

Resveratrol has also been shown to help improve fertility and insulin in people with PCOS.

coQ10 for pcos

CoEnzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is present everywhere in the human body. It is especially important for generating energy, as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within the mitochondria which are the tiny “energy factories” inside most cells. For this reason, organs and tissues with high energy demands, such as the heart and liver, have the highest concentrations of CoQ10.

Emerging research is showing that coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 may offer numerous benefits to women with PCOS, Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to be involved in improving fertility and pregnancy in women with PCOS. Newer research is showing the potential of Q10 to lower cholesterol, inflammation, testosterone and insulin levels.

A meta analysis and systematic review showed that the addition of CoQ10 is a safe therapy to improve PCOS by improving insulin resistance, increasing sex hormone levels (increase FSH, reduce testosterone), and improving blood lipids, including reducing triglycerides, total cholesterol,  LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol.

A recent double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial showed that women with PCOS who took 100 mg/day of CoQ10 for 12 weeks improved mood (depression and anxiety), inflammation, total testosterone, DHEAS, hirsutism compared to placebo.

Women with PCOS who were randomized to take 200 mg CoQ10 per day for 8 weeks resulted in significant decreases in inflammatory markers and endothelial dysfunction compared with placebo.

Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that coenzyme Q10 had beneficial effects on serum FBS and insulin levels, as well as HOMA-IR and total testosterone levels in women with PCOS.

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Comments (4)
  • lisa wittenberg

    March 15, 2022 at 10:59 am

    I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist and work with a lot of patients with pre diabetes, diabetes and pcos.
    I was wondering if these supplements are only prescribed for women with pcos can some be used for women with pre diabetes or men with diabetes or pre diabetes ?

  • Angela Grassi

    March 15, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Lisa, Yes, these supplements can be used by anyone, especially those with pre diabetes or diabetes or even fatty liver.

    If you are interested in learning more about these supplements, I do cover them in my Online PCOS Training Course for RDNs: https://pcosnutrition.com/trainingcourse/

  • Perhotelan

    May 16, 2023 at 4:05 am

    Berberine also inhibits the enzyme lipoprotein lipase which is responsible

  • raza

    December 18, 2023 at 12:21 am

    I found this article extremely informative and timely. As someone who has been dealing with High cholesterol, I appreciate the emphasis on lifestyle changes. It’s often easy to underestimate the impact of simple habits on our overall health

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