Best Ways to Lower Testosterone for PCOS

Are you finding your acne, body hair growth and thinning or shedding of hair happening more right now? And it doesn’t help that hair salons and wax centers are closed! 

These symptoms are common in PCOS people and is mostly due to high testosterone levels.

Did you know that stress can worsen testosterone levels? Yup. Cortisol, the good old stress hormone, affects the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) pathway, the exact same system that manages most of the hormones associated with PCOS. 

It goes like this: 

High cortisol > high insulin > high testosterone


Here are some effective ways to lower testosterone:

Take Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been associated with reducing androgen levels in women with PCOS. A review of six clinical trials with 183 women with PCOS revealed that vitamin D supplementation significantly reduced total testosterone levels.
3 MAJOR ROLES OF VITAMIN D FOR PCOS

Eat Fish & take Fish Oil

Data has shown that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly long-chain (LC) n-3 (omega-3) PUFAs found in fish and fish oil, can lower androgen levels (and improve mood) in women with PCOS. 


Take Ovasitol


Supplementing with the ideal 40:1 ratio of Myo to DCI, which is in Ovasitol, has been shown to lower testosterone, and symptoms of hirsutism and acne in women with PCOS, in just 12 weeks of consistent use. 

ovasitol pcos


Take a probiotic


The emotions of stress (e.g., depression and anxiety), for instance, have been hypothesized to aggravate acne by altering the gut microbiota and increasing intestinal permeability, potentially contributing to skin inflammation. 

Over the years, an expanding body of research has highlighted the presence of a gut-brain-skin axis that connects gut microbes and diet to acne severity. 

Women with PCOS have been shown to have less gut diversity which is correlated with high testosterone levels. Taking a probiotic, may help improve gut bacteria diversity. 
READ: The Power of Probiotics


Include Unprocessed Whole Foods


Eating unprocessed whole foods are high in fiber (which will help with better gut health) and don’t tend to spike up glucose and insulin levels. Keeping insulin down will also help lower testosterone levels. One study found that a high intake of high glycemic index foods that contain little or no fiber, was associated with worse acne production. Need new recipes? Search our Recipe Collection in our blog


Dairy Controversy


If you have noticed your acne getting worse, this may be a good time to be mindful of your dairy intake and any connection. While a serving or two of full-fat milk or cheese has not been shown to contribute to acne production, 2 or more daily servings of fat free milk or yogurt have been linked with aggravating this common skin condition in people with PCOS. 

If you do have acne, maybe keep a food journal and record your observations with experimenting either with the type or amount of dairy you eat. 

For references and more info about dairy and PCOS, check out this article: 

THE ROLE OF DAIRY IN THE NUTRITION MANAGEMENT FOR PCOS


Sprionolactone


Also called aldactone, spironolactone is a very weak blood pressure lowering medication that has been shown to lessen body hair growth and restore hair growth on the top of your head. 

This is a prescribed medication and takes a good three months to kick in. Spironolactone can cause birth defects and should not be used in people who are trying to conceive or could get pregnant. 


Practice Yoga


Really! Regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce testosterone, possibly because it also lowers cortisol. Yoga certainly has other benefits for PCOS too (see link below):
Is Yoga the Missing Piece from Your PCOS Self Care Routine?

Take Zinc

Don’t underestimate the power of this trace mineral! Low levels of zinc have been found in women with PCOS. After supplementing with zinc (30 mg daily) for 2 months, women with PCOS saw slight improvements (12.5 vs. 8.3%) in their acne compared to those who took a placebo, according to a study in Biological Trace Elements Research. That’s because zinc works to inhibit the enzyme that converts testosterone into its non-aromatizable form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which contributes to acne.

And for those of you who suffer from the bumps and boils of HS, emerging research is showing that zinc can help with this as well. Patients who took zinc gluconate, 90mg/day along with a topical medicine showed significant reductions in the appearance of boils after 3 months of treatment.

Our PCOS MULTI™ is formulated with extra zinc so you don’t have to take more pills! and SHIPS FREE! 



For studies and more info about zinc see this article: 
What Does Zinc Have to Do with PCOS? A Lot! 

Drink Green or Spearmint Tea

If you follow me on social media (@PCOSnutrition) you’ve seen that iced green tea is my drink of choice these days. It’s great to mix Ovasitol into as well! Green and spearmint tea contain antioxidants which have been shown to lower androgens in women with PCOS. If you enjoy these types of teas, drink up! 

Read The PCOS Workbook: Your Guide to Complete Physical and Emotional Health 

which has an entire chapter on managing stress to get your cortisol levels down, along with chapters on mental health, body image, and nutrition. It’s available in print or ebook and is on sale with free shipping in our store

Want one-on-one nutrition help? 
I provide individualized nutrition coaching online and would love to help you take control over PCOS. For more information or to schedule a link in my calendar, visit: https://www.pcosnutrition.com/our-services/nutrition-coaching/ 

Angela 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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ovasitol pcos