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Folic acid may improve symptoms in polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women of child-bearing age, with symptoms including irregular periods, elevated male hormone levels, and enlarged ovaries. Untreated, the syndrome can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health problems.

In this study, 69 women with PCOS, age 18 to 40, took a placebo, 1 mg of folate (folic acid) per day, or 5 mg of folate per day, for eight weeks. The doses were several times the U.S. recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folate. Doctors measured inflammation levels and signs of oxidative stress before and after the study.

Women taking the 5 mg dose of folate saw significant decreases in inflammation including lower levels of homocysteine and C-reactive protein. The women in the 5 mg folate group also had a better ability to regulate and use insulin, and a significant increase in total antioxidant capacity, suggesting less oxidative stress.


Reference: Clinical Endocrinology; October, 2014, Vol. 81, No. 4, 582-7.
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