Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders that affects around 5-10 percent of women of childbearing age and is characterized by abnormal hormone levels. Now, scientists have found that resveratrol – a natural compound found in red wine and grapes – can help address this hormone imbalance.
PCOS is a common condition among women of childbearing age. Symptoms can begin with the first period or in young adult women.
In these patients, the ovaries produce high amounts of male sex hormones (known as androgens) such as testosterone. The consequences include weight gain, missed periods, acne, and excess hair on the face and body. Diabetes and infertility can also occur in the most severe cases.
Based on the hormonal blood levels recorded at the beginning and the end of the study, the researchers noted a 23.1 per cent reduction in testosterone levels among women who took the resveratrol supplement for three months. Conversely, the patients who took a placebo saw their testosterone levels increase by 2.9 per cent.
The study also revealed that the resveratrol brought about a 22.2 per cent reduction in the level of DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate), another hormone that the body converts into testosterone. The placebo group experienced a 10.5 per cent increase in DHEAS levels.
Once these tests had been completed, the researchers realised that resveratrol also played a protective role against diabetes. Over the three-month trial, the women who took resveratrol became more responsive to insulin.
These findings suggest that resveratrol can improve the body’s ability to use insulin and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. The researchers say that a resveratrol supplement could help to lower the risk of metabolic problems experienced by women with PCOS.