Unveiling the Benefits of Antioxidant Intervention for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis
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Unveiling the Benefits of Antioxidant Intervention for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent health issue affecting up to 20% of women globally, leading to various symptoms like insulin resistance and altered lipid profiles. Recent studies have suggested that antioxidants might play a pivotal role in managing these symptoms. A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Medicine (Baltimore) journal delves into the potential benefits of antioxidants for women battling PCOS. Here's a closer look at the study's findings and implications for PCOS management.

Background of the Study

The study pooled data from randomized controlled trials conducted between 1999 and 2020, focusing on the impact of antioxidant therapy on women with PCOS. The main objective was to ascertain whether these interventions could mitigate common issues associated with PCOS, such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, and assess their effect on testosterone levels and body mass index (BMI).

Methodology and Findings

Researchers utilized databases like EMBASE, PubMed, and Web of Science to gather relevant studies, ensuring a robust search strategy as per systematic review protocols. The meta-analysis included 23 studies, scrutinizing the effect of various antioxidants, including Coenzyme Q10, Omega-3, and vitamins like E and selenium, on PCOS symptoms.

The findings were promising:

  • Insulin Resistance: Antioxidant interventions significantly improved the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), indicating better insulin sensitivity.
  • Lipid Profile: There was a notable reduction in triglyceride levels among the subjects receiving antioxidants.
  • Testosterone Levels: The interventions did not significantly affect testosterone levels, which often contribute to the clinical manifestations of PCOS.
  • Body Mass Index: Overall, antioxidants had no significant impact on BMI, with the exception of specific subgroups like those treated with D-chiro-inositol, suggesting variable effects based on the type of antioxidant used.

Subgroup Analysis

The study also conducted a detailed subgroup analysis to determine the effectiveness of different antioxidants:

  • Omega-3 and Coenzyme Q10 were particularly effective in reducing insulin resistance.
  • D-chiro-inositol and other vitamins showed significant benefits in managing triglyceride levels.
  • Coenzyme Q10 was the only antioxidant that had a discernible impact on testosterone levels, though the effect size and clinical relevance require further exploration.

Implications and Future Directions

This meta-analysis underscores the potential of antioxidants as part of a comprehensive treatment strategy for PCOS, particularly in improving metabolic parameters. The differentiation in results based on the type of antioxidant provides a nuanced understanding that could help tailor individual treatments for women with PCOS.

Despite the encouraging outcomes, the study acknowledges the need for further research to fully understand the role of antioxidants in PCOS management. Future studies should focus on long-term effects, optimal dosages, and the impact of combining different antioxidants.


The systematic review and meta-analysis offer substantial evidence that antioxidant interventions can significantly improve insulin resistance and lipid profiles in women with PCOS. These findings highlight the potential of nutritional and supplementary strategies in managing this complex syndrome, paving the way for more personalized and effective treatment plans. As research continues to evolve, the hope is that these interventions will become integral to the standard care for women with PCOS, improving their quality of life and health outcomes

  • Zhao J, Sui X, Shi Q, Su D, Lin Z. Effects of antioxidant intervention in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Aug 12;101(32):e30006. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000030006. PMID: 35960093; PMCID: PMC9371494.
  • Zhao J, Dong L, Lin Z, Sui X, Wang Y, Li L, Liu T, Liu J. Effects of selenium supplementation on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis on randomized clinical trials. BMC Endocr Disord. 2023 Feb 6;23(1):33. doi: 10.1186/s12902-023-01286-6. PMID: 36740666; PMCID: PMC9901141.
  • Wang R, Miao C, Chen Y, Zhao Y, Yang L, Cheng W, Zhang Q. Antioxidant supplements relieve insulin resistance but do not improve lipid metabolism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2022 Dec;38(12):1047-1059. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2022.2148648. Epub 2022 Nov 28. PMID: 36437750.
  • Shen W, Qu Y, Jiang H, Wang H, Pan Y, Zhang Y, Wu X, Han Y, Zhang Y. Therapeutic effect and safety of curcumin in women with PCOS: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Oct 27;13:1051111. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.1051111. PMID: 36387924; PMCID: PMC9646792.
  • Heshmati J, Omani-Samani R, Vesali S, Maroufizadeh S, Rezaeinejad M, Razavi M, Sepidarkish M. The Effects of Supplementation with Chromium on Insulin Resistance Indices in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Horm Metab Res. 2018 Mar;50(3):193-200. doi: 10.1055/s-0044-101835. Epub 2018 Mar 9. PMID: 29523006.
1.Background of the Study
2.Methodology and Findings
3.Subgroup Analysis
4.Implications and Future Directions