Plus, the surprising natural solution your doctor isn’t telling you about
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a leading cause of infertility in women of childbearing age. But it’s also a lot more than that. This routinely overlooked condition remains a threat well after menopause if you don’t take steps to address it.
And sadly, conventional doctors don’t give PCOS the attention it deserves. Managing PCOS—at any age—is a critical women’s health issue. That’s why I’m bringing it up today.
Because, contrary to what the name might suggest, ovarian cysts aren’t actually the main hallmark of the condition.
The root cause of your PCOS problems
The wide array of health issues caused by PCOS—such as diabetes, heart attack, and even Alzheimer’s—all stem from hormonal imbalance.
And I’m not just talking about estrogen. Women with PCOS also tend to have high levels of androgens, or “male” hormones as well—testosterone, in particular.
And as scientists have found in recent years, your hormones—like most functions within the body—are highly influenced by the health of your gut bacteria, or microbiome. In fact, a new study in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shined a spotlight on the link between gut bacteria and PCOS.
Hormone levels and gut health go hand-in-hand
Researchers analyzed fecal samples from 73 PCOS patients.1 They then compared them to samples two groups of women: 48 women without the condition and 42 women with ovarian cysts, but without any of the other defining clinical features of PCOS (such as irregular periods, excessive adult acne, facial hair growth, balding, weight gain, or fertility issues).
The researchers found that the women with PCOS had the least diverse gut bacteria, while women without the condition had the most diverse. But here’s the interesting part: Women with polycystic ovaries—but without the hallmark symptoms of PCOS—had a microbiome that fell somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.
This suggests that restoring diversity in your microbiome may be key in reversing the most troublesome aspects of the condition.
So what can you do to reboot your gut health and balance your hormone levels?
Your two-in-one PCOS solution
If you’ve been a longtime reader of this newsletter or my daily e-letter, Reality Health Check, you know how much I emphasize the importance of your microbiome…and how it affects every single part of your body. Including your hormones. Which is why supporting it with a quality probiotic should be the first place you start.
In fact, researchers recently discovered the hormone-balancing power of probiotics in a recent animal study. They treated two groups of rats with PCOS—one group received a probiotic and the other group received both a probiotic and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from healthy rats.
In the group of rats treated with the probiotic, 6 of the 8 rats experienced decreased levels of androgen. In the group receiving both probiotic and FMT, the hormonal and reproductive cycles were improved in all 8 rats.
Granted, this is an animal study. But there’s so much research on the benefits of probiotics for human health, I firmly believe everyone should be taking them. I recommend taking a high-quality, multi-strain probiotic twice a day on an empty stomach. I personally use Dr. Ohhira’s, which is backed by 25 years of research.
Plus, Dr. Ohirra’s is one of the few probiotic products that also contains prebiotics (which feed the probiotic bacteria). And they even include lactic acid bacteria and bacteriocins, which work to kill off the bad bugs while replenishing the good ones.
In a market flooded with probiotic products looking to cash in on the growing awareness around gut health, you’ll never go wrong with this one.
To learn more my comprehensive, whole-body plan to sideline PCOS, refer to the April 2017 issue of Logical Health Alternatives (“Urgent warning for women! The life-altering condition that even your gynecologist may not catch”). You can download this issue from the archives for free by logging in to the Subscribers section of my website with your username and password.
Torres PJ, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Apr 1;103(4):1502-1511.
Yanjie, Gui, et. al. PLOS ONE. 2016 April 19:11(4): e0154196