Updated: Jun 16
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects millions of women worldwide, causing a range of symptoms due to hormonal imbalances. While the causes of PCOS are not fully understood, emerging research suggests a possible link between gut health and this complex condition.
In this blog, we delve into the fascinating world of probiotics and their potential benefits for individuals with PCOS, with insights from Dr. Drew Sinatra, a board-certified naturopathic doctor and health detective.
Probiotics, the "good" bacteria, have gained significant attention for their role in supporting overall health. Coined from the Latin words "pro" (in support of) and "biotic" (pertaining to living organisms), probiotics have been shown to aid digestion, regulate digestive function, boost immunity, and support cardiovascular health. Dr. Drew Sinatra, with his passion for promoting natural healing and wellness, emphasizes the importance of probiotics in addressing the root causes of health issues.
The Gut-PCOS Connection
Research suggests that maintaining a delicate balance of gut bacteria, known as gut microbiota, is important for overall health, and it may have implications for individuals with PCOS. Imbalances in gut flora, referred to as dysbiosis, have been associated with metabolic disorders, inflammation, and hormonal irregularities—factors that are also prevalent in PCOS. While Dr. Drew Sinatra's expertise as a health detective doesn't specifically address PCOS, it provides valuable insights into the potential benefits of probiotics in promoting a healthier balance of gut bacteria.
Digestive Health and Nutrient Absorption
Dr. Drew Sinatra highlights that specific strains of probiotics, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, improve digestion and enhance the absorption of essential nutrients. By supporting a healthy digestive system, probiotics may address common gastrointestinal issues experienced by individuals with PCOS, such as bloating, gas, and irregular bowel movements. Improved nutrient absorption can also optimize the body's ability to utilize key nutrients involved in hormone regulation.
Inflammation and Immune Function
Chronic inflammation is often observed in individuals with PCOS. Probiotics have been shown to modulate immune system function and reduce inflammation in the intestines. Dr. Drew Sinatra's expertise in natural healing underscores the potential of probiotics in soothing inflammation, thereby helping alleviate symptoms associated with PCOS, such as menstrual irregularities, acne, and excess hair growth.
PCOS is often accompanied by an increased risk of cardiovascular complications. Dr. Drew Sinatra emphasizes that certain strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics have also been shown to support the cardiovascular system. These probiotics help regulate cholesterol production and breakdown, maintain healthy blood pressure, and promote proper circulation. By incorporating probiotics into their routine, individuals with PCOS may potentially reduce their risk of cardiovascular issues.
Fermented Foods and Fiber
Dr. Drew Sinatra underscores the importance of incorporating fermented foods into the diet as a natural source of probiotics. Foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt contain live cultures that support gut health. However, due to pasteurization processes, store-bought fermented foods may have fewer probiotics. Dr. Sinatra recommends making fermented foods at home, just like your grandmother did, to ensure a higher probiotic content.
Moreover, increasing dietary fiber intake has shown positive effects on gut flora. A study published in the British Medical Journal revealed that a higher fiber diet increased the abundance of specific probiotic strains associated with favorable cholesterol levels, improved body composition, and reduced cardiovascular risk factors.
Finding the Right Probiotic Supplement
Dr. Drew Sinatra advises individuals to choose a probiotic supplement backed by clinical studies demonstrating its efficacy. When selecting a probiotic, consider the number of colony forming units (CFUs) listed on the label. A minimum of 100 million CFUs is generally recommended for colonization, but higher doses may be beneficial. Look for supplements containing at least 350 mg of probiotics or follow the recommended dosages provided by a healthcare professional.
Addressing Potential Side Effects
Dr. Drew Sinatra acknowledges that some individuals may experience temporary side effects when first starting probiotics, such as increased gas and bloating. This is typically due to the adjustment of gut microbiota and changes in bowel pH. To minimize these symptoms, reducing the dosage for a few days and gradually increasing it can be helpful. Additionally, certain probiotics contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which act as prebiotics, but can cause abdominal discomfort in a small subset of people.
Optimizing Probiotic Intake
There is an ongoing debate regarding the best timing for probiotic supplementation. Some recommend taking probiotics on an empty stomach to prevent degradation by stomach acids, while others suggest taking them slightly before or with meals to aid assimilation along the gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Drew Sinatra advises taking probiotics whenever it is most convenient for you.
Supporting Gut Health Holistically
In addition to incorporating probiotics, Dr. Drew Sinatra emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy gut environment. Opting for an organic diet reduces exposure to pesticides and herbicides, which can negatively impact gut flora. Moreover, reducing sugar intake is crucial, as it provides fuel for yeast species like candida, altering gut flora and potentially contributing to various health issues. Investing in a water filter to remove chlorine from tap water is also recommended, as chlorine can disrupt healthy gut flora.
In this insightful blog, we have delved into the potential benefits of probiotics for individuals with PCOS. Dr. Drew Sinatra, a board-certified naturopathic doctor and renowned expert in natural healing, has shed light on the importance of a balanced gut microbiota for managing overall health.
While further research is needed to establish the precise role of probiotics in PCOS management, their potential to support digestion, reduce inflammation, and promote cardiovascular health makes them an intriguing addition to existing treatment strategies.
If you're considering incorporating probiotics into your PCOS management plan, PROVITA Probiotics is an excellent option to consider. With clinically studied strains and a high potency formula, PROVITA Probiotics provides a convenient and reliable way to support your gut health.
Remember, it's always crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to tailor probiotic usage to your specific needs and ensure it aligns with your overall treatment plan. By prioritizing a balanced gut, you're taking a proactive step towards achieving balanced health.
Note: The article by Dr. Drew Sinatra focuses on the benefits of probiotics for digestive health, immune function, cardiovascular health, and the endocrine system. While the article doesn't directly mention polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), we provide you information on how probiotics may potentially relate to PCOS.
1) Benefits of Probiotics: What Doctors May Not Tell You