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6 great foods for women with PCOS in South Africa

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PCOS is significantly affected by lifestyle, and hence your daily dietary decisions are critical. In short, what you eat and when, can have a huge impact on how severe your PCOS symptoms are. To start, you absolutely want to limit sugar intake – as discussed in our previous article: PCOS DIET – HOW SUGAR AFFECTS INSULIN RESISTANCE & WEIGHT LOSS.

But, your daily diet with PCOS doesn’t have to dreary and bland, there are many healthy alternatives to keep you feeling good. Here are six inspiring and delicious foods, available in South Africa, that will not only tickle the taste buds, but help your PCOS too:

PCOS Diet: Best foods to eat

1. Avocados

Avocado’s are high in good fats. They also regulate hormones, reduce the body’s sensitivity to prolactin – a hormone which can suppress ovulation and helps regulate your menstrual cycle. These fruits are powerful allies for women with PCOS, they are also available year round in South Africa.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in fibre, helps lower inflammation, balances hormones, detoxes liver of excess hormones, builds collagen, and decrease insulin resistance.

3. Oats

Oats can assist PCOS sufferers with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. They also lower blood pressure, inflammation and can relieve constipation.

4. Almonds

Almonds are low in carbohydrates, but high in healthy fats, protein and fibre. They control blood sugar, lower blood pressure, improve insulin resistance and boost metabolism.

5. Salmon

Salmon decreases inflammation, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of cancer and improves the function of cells. Eating Salmon also protects bone health and maintains muscle mass during weight loss and the aging process.

6. Spearmint tea

Spearmint tea aids ingestion and flatulence, decreases testosterone, reduce hirsutism, increases female hormones necessary for ovulation, improves memory and lowers blood sugar.

Best foods for PCOSOther lifestyle tips for women with PCOS

Other lifestyle interventions, as well as regular, natural supplementation are critical to keeping your PCOS in check. Using a good, natural, wholesome PCOS Supplement can have dramatic, positive affects on your well-being and enable your to live a normal life with PCOS.

For more reading on lifestyle tips, read our article: 5 lifestyle tips for women with PCOS in South Africa

PCOS Diet – How sugar affects insulin resistance & weight loss

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Diet & PCOS

Diet is a very important lifestyle consideration for PCOS treatment in South Africa. In this article, we will unpack the affect that dietary sugar has on PCOS, as well as the best ways to counter this. It is also important to mention just how bad consuming sugar and sugar-containing foods (and drinks) maybe to potentially worsening PCOS symptoms and insulin resistance. It is commonly documented that women with PCOS will crave sugar and fried foods, which makes abstinence all the more challenging.

WHAT ARE THE INOSITOLS & WHY THEY CAN BE SO VALUABLE IN PCOS

The inositols play an essential role in insulin signalling and the resultant removal of glucose from the blood stream into fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells.

When blood sugar levels are raised (hyperglycemia), glucose inhibits the intestinal absorption of inositol, increases renal excretion and reduces renal reabsorption resulting in overall loss in inositol.

In insulin resistance there is

  • decreased availability of inositols or inositol phosphoglycans (IPGs).
  • increased urinary loss of Myo-Inositol (MI) also known as Inositol Phosphoglycan –A [IPG-A]), resulting in reduced D-Chiro-Inositol (DCI which is Inositol Phosphoglycan-P [IPG-P]).

Plasma and intracellular depletion of MI/DCI or IPG metabolites is likely to worsen insulin resistance.

PCOS Diet, Inositols & Weight loss

From a dietary perspective, failure to stop sugar and sugar containing foods as well as eating high carbohydrate foods will likely exacerbate the lowering of overall Inositol phosphoglycans. This worsens physiological insulin signaling, resulting in insulin receptor resistance, raised blood insulin and raised blood glucose (as the very mechanism to remove glucose [insulin receptor and downstream signaling substrate molecules]), are now faulty. This, in a nutshell, will likely lead to weight gain and the inability to lose weight.

So how about Ketogenic diets with PCOS?

Where ketogenic /Banting style of carbohydrate avoidance is a method of glucose restriction and loss of fat mass and weight, there is a caveat with regard to the inositols. The main dietary source of inositols is cereals and grains.

Cereals and grains are a rich source of phytates/phytic acid which contain MI and also PI (phosphatidyl inositol and IP6 [Inositol 6 phosphate]). Eliminating all cereals and grains maybe disadvantageous with regard to dietary presence of inositols. Make sure to avoid processed cereals and grain products and opt for unprocessed grains and cereals in small amounts, as strict carbohydrate avoidance diet will likely be deficient in inositols.

Our bodies make this stuff too

The human body is not solely dependent of dietary inositols and can manufacture inositols endogenously (on it’s own). A metabolite of glucose, glucose-6-phosphate is the starting point of inositol production as myo-inositol. However high glucose levels will increase Phospholipase D (PLD), a key enzyme for PA (phosphatidic acid) which increases nuclear IP6K1 (Inositol hexakisphosphate kinase-1) which decreases MI content.

So to sum it up… Stay off the sugar for good amounts of naturally produced inositol

Over-activation of IP6K1 by insulin stimulation, promotes IP-7 (inositol pyrophosphates) which inhibits Akt  (protein kinase B) by preventing interaction with PI3K. Inhibited Akt reduces insulin sensitivity and protein synthesis. Insulin resistance increases GSK-3 (glycogen synthase kinase 3) and mTOR (mammalian target of Rapamycin) and associated with weight gain.

Hence a high sugar diet will not only reduce exogenous Inositol (inositol supplement) intake and retention, but will also compromise endogenous production (body’s production) of Myo-Inositol.

High blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and the inositols

Since high blood sugar levels evoke higher and sustained insulin release, high insulin in the presence of insulin receptor resistance will suppress conversion of MI to DCI by suppressing epimerase. Low DCI will allow insulin resistance to continue unchecked which then worsens PCOS symptoms as Metabolic Syndrome develops (high glucose, high insulin, high blood pressure, high blood fats [triglycerides], high cholesterol and increased weight [increased fat mass]). Bringing DCI back into the insulin signalling mechanism is essential to reduce insulin receptor resistance, lower blood insulin levels, help weight loss and start the recovery process.

Both IPGs (MI/DCI) work as second messengers downstream of insulin receptors.

  • Upon Insulin receptor activation MI/DCI are transported into the cell, enhancing glucose breakdown and enhancing Kreb cycle activity as well as glycogen synthesis through the  
  • PI3K and Akt pathways which block glycogen breakdown (by inhibiting GSK-3) while increasing GLUT-4 translocation and glucose uptake. 
  • IPG-P (DCI) inhibits glucose stimulated release of insulin from pancreatic cells, suggesting a negative feedback and both MI and DCI have an anti-diabetic actions.  MI converts to DCI by epimerase which requires insulin.  Insulin resistance occurs in muscle, fat and liver insulin receptors where epimerization severely impaired and reduced DCI/MI ratio represents the degree of insulin resistance. The lower the DCI, the worse the insulin resistance.

Low DCI is typical in urine of type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients. In PCOS there may be a deficiency of membrane bound IPG phospholipids and or a reduction of epimerase dependent conversion of MI to DCI. This compounds insulin resistance and the Metabolic Syndrome.

PCOS, Insulin and the ovaries

What is the ‘DCI paradox’ ?

While there is a deficiency of DCI in tissues displaying insulin resistance (muscle, fat and liver), the ovaries remain insulin receptor sensitive and display increase DCI and reduced MI due to high insulin driving epimerization of MI to DCI. The impairment of ovarian function is associated with an increase in DCI/MI in the ovary.

To neutralise the DCI paradox, the aim is to lower insulin levels and by lowering insulin levels reduce the hyper-stimulation of insulin on the ovaries. This then likely reduces over production of DCI at an ovarian level.

DCI is critical for insulin homeostasis, so where low levels of DCI is necessary in the ovaries, higher levels are required at fat, muscle and liver insulin receptor signaling to reduce the Metabolic Syndrome and insulin resistance. 

Not everyone with PCOS benefits from synthetic MI/DCI supplements possibly due to the fact that natural IPG have additional critical co-factors, hence it is essential to enhance endogenous MI production and facilitate MI absorption through dietary intake, by lowering blood glucose and eating inositol rich phytates in grains and cereals.

When MI is taken up by a cell, it transforms into phosphatoinositides (PI3K) and phospholipids. PI3K is essential for downstream insulin signalling to activate the GLUT-4 transporter to migrate to the cell surface and literally open the ‘gate’ for glucose to enter the cell. Pi3K also facilitates glycogen synthesis (a storage form of glucose).

Inositols reduce glycemia and insulin resistance while buffering negative effects of insulin stimulation on adipose tissue and the endocrine system. Myo-inositol is being shown through multiple studies MI to improve insulin resistance in PCOS patients.

There have been a rash of studies testing the best ratio of MI/DCI.  Initially MI was found to improve ovarian function in 2gram daily doses. When small amounts of DCI were added in  varying amounts, less MI could be used to achieve similar results. Studies using 550mg MI  and 13mg DCI were found equivalent to  2g MI. However, other studies have reported enhanced ovarian function using high dose DCI 400mg (in spite of a known DCI excess at the ovaries in PCOS) and yet improvements were recorded. 

What About the 40:1 GOLDEN ratio

Until such time as the multiple layers of biological terrain is understood and seemingly infinite factors influencing insulin resistance and ovarian function are understood, the 40:1 of MI/DCI ratio is an approximation at best. However, severe insulin resistance is in part driven by the absence of DCI, and robust DCI supplementation can support insulin sensitivity which then changes the ‘state of play’ at the ovaries. 

LIFE SOURCE PCOS Support Supplement and the inositols

Until such time as insulin resistance is resolved, an improvement in PCOS is unlikely to occur. PCOS SUPPORT Supplement has a comprehensive insulin sensitising group of ingredients in the Metabolic Balance which support multiple aspects of the insulin signalling cascade from the insulin receptor through to the GLUT-4 transporter, blocking factors which down grade insulin signalling, while promoting insulin signal transduction, for the lowering of glucose levels and the lowering of insulin secretion.

Even the Hormone Balance bottle in the PCOS SUPPORT creation supports insulin sensitivity through Curcumin which attenuates the Metabolic Syndrome, lowering blood fats, lowering blood pressure, lowering LDL cholesterol, raising HDL cholesterol, blocking fat deposition, supporting fat burning and improving insulin sensitivity.

PCOS SUPPORT powerfully addresses a multitude of dysfunctional events in PCOS, by supporting the lowering of inflammation, the lowering of oxidative stress, the lowering of insulin resistance, the improving of ovarian function, the reducing of androgen excess and oestrogen excess and supporting progesterone.

PCOS Support and Pregnancy

South African women with severe PCOS who have used the standard of care and failed, including third tier treatments (surgical ovarian drilling and or IVF or similar procedures), have simply fallen pregnant after a few months of PCOS SUPPORT.

Natural supplementation is a very effective way to return the body to a harmonious state – in short, PCOS Support works, and helps women reduce PCOS symptoms, fall pregnant and lose weight.

Dr.R. Cooper is a South African PCOS specialist based Australia.

Hormonal Balance in PCOS Support

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Hormonal Balance for PCOS

Lifesource Pcos

This formula HELPS REGULATE the major PCOS hormone imbalances:

ANDROGEN (including testosterone) EXCESS

OESTROGEN EXCESS

PROGESTERONE DEFICIENCY

These 3 are the UNHOLY HORMONE TRIAD of PCOS and are responsible for many of the symptoms of PCOS

HIGH ANDROGENS what do they do?:

  • Cause HAIR GROWTH where you do not want it (face, chest, legs, abdomen)
  • LOSS of HEAD HAIR, ACNE, OILY SKIN, DARK SKIN PATCHES around neck, armpits, groin.
  • High androgens convert to OESTROGENS by the enzyme AROMATASE

HIGH OESTROGENS: what do they do?

High oestrogens worsen PCOS by promoting

  • weight gain
  • food cravings
  • fluid retention
  • anxiety
  • breast tenderness
  • heavy periods (if they occur)
  • PMT
  • suppression of pituitary hormone FSH, stopping normal maturation of follicle resulting in no ovulation.

High oestrogens cause auto-immunity. This means the immune system makes antibodies to attack body tissues including

  1. the thyroid (more weight gain),
  2. the pancreas
  3. insulin receptors (insulin resistance causing high insulin levels)

All of which adversely affect ovaries. Preventing follicle maturation, stopping ovulation and making excessive androgens and oestrogens from the ovaries and weight gain from multiple causes.

LOW PROGESTERONE

Progesterone is low in PCOS for mainly these 3 many reasons.

  • Poor follicle maturation
  • no ovulation
  • no corpus luteum (the left over sac after ovulation that makes progesterone)

Low progesterone results in

  • agitation
  • poor sleep
  • anxiety
  • fluid retention
  • breast tenderness
  • PMT
  • disturbed cycle
  • long and possibly heavy period

PCOS SUPPORT Hormone Balance ingredients:

CHASTE TREE

The berries of the tree Vitus Agnus Castus which helps progesterone production to:

  • improve the chance of ovulation and fertility
  • downgrade oestrogens
  • offset testosterone from making an even stronger androgen Dihydrotestosterone
  • improve mood
  • calmness and sleep
  • reduce anxiety
  • downgrade androgens at many levels, act as a diuretic to lose excess fluid
Deeper explanation:

Women with PCOS often have intermittent or no ovulation, irregular cycles and poor fertility. Anovulatory PCOS women are unlikely to produce adequate progesterone. Progesterone deficiency is often ‘overlooked’ in PCOS patients. Progesterone deficiency, with oestrogen, androgen, insulin and glucose excess can induce a sustained hypothalamic signal (Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone [GnRH]) level to the pituitary causing disturbed pituitary signaling to ovaries resulting in a disturbed cycle, with poor ovulation, irregular length of cycle and a risk of infertility. 

Supporting progesterone production may assist in increasing fertility. Interestingly, progesterone deficiency is rarely directly discussed in PCOS but implied.

Understanding this further

A hormonal marker of PCOS is the:

  • FSH/LH ratio.

Chronic Low FSH/LH implies disturbed hypothalamic signaling to the pituitary with raised Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone [GnRH]) from the hypothalamus to the pituitary. There is raised LH levels, LH/FSH ratio, and LH pulse frequency and amplitude in women with PCOS.

A high LH surge in healthy women releases the egg from the mature follicle with subsequent increase in progesterone. However, this does not occur in PCOS, as the follicle do not mature due to suppressed FSH and the sustained high LH causes the production of androgens (male hormones) by the theca cells of the ovaries. High androgens drive further GnRH.

To assist with ovarian regulation, the complimentary PCOS Metabolic contains Myo-inositol (MI) and D-Chiro Inositol (DCI) complex. MI and DCI have been shown to support ovarian function. 

This imbalance of high oestrogen, low progesterone and high androgens are the effect and also cause ongoing endocrine dysfunction in PCOS.

A chronic low FSH/LH ratio suggests a more disorganized hormonal balance with low progesterone and high oestrogen, a toxic combination for the ovaries, uterus, weight management with resultant weight gain, worsening insulin resistance, thyroid dysfunction and auto-immune dysfunction.

In summary:

Addressing progesterone therefore becomes an interesting and supportive factor in attempting to organize hormone function to improve symptoms in PCOS sufferers. Positive effects for Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) in women with prolonged cycles (oligomenorrhoea) and also no cycles (amenorrhoea) and infertility was demonstrated in three placebo controlled RCTs.

An extract of Chaste Tree was as effective as the pharmaceutical drug Bromocriptine in lowering prolactin on one study and all three and showed a longer luteal phase improved regularity of cycles (Arentz 2014).

Cyperus Rotundus

Cyperus rotundus has anti-oestrogenic properties

  • lowering fluid retention,
  • breast tenderness,
  • improving mood and anxiety,
  • decreasing PMT
  • dysmenorrhea (abdominal pain before your period)
  • decreasing excessive bleeding during a cycle
  • lowering weight.
Deeper understanding:

Cyperus binds to the oestrogen receptor, blocking the receptor from binding to oestrogen; it also inhibits the enzyme aromatase which converts the androgenic hormones Androstenedione and Testosterone to Oestrone and Oestradiol respectively. 

  1. Cyperus is anti-inflammatory blocking prostaglandin E2alpha (PGE2) a pain inducing chemical (eicosonoid),  and the enzyme COX-2 which makes PGE2,.
  2. Cyperus also blocks LPS (lipopolysacchyaride) and NFKB both drivers of inflammation.
  3. Cyperus also blocks interleukin 6 (IL-6) which is a cytokine driver of inflammation. IL-6 is one of the cytokines which may be raised in PCOS.

Cyperus has also been shown to have an anti-proliferative effect meaning it may help prevent cancer.

Hence cyperus is yet another multi-functional nutraceutical in PCOS SUPPORT Hormone Balance having anti-oestrogenic, anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Calcium-D-Glucarate (CDG)

Calcium-D-Glucarate (CDG) are the calcium salts of naturally occurring D-Glucaric Acid which is found in oranges, apples, carrots, grapefruit and brassicas. 

CDG enhances oestrogen removal from the body via the liver. CDG decreases signs of oestrogen dominance including

 

  • anxiety,
  • poor sleep,
  • breast tenderness,
  • fluid retention,
  • weight gain,
  • painful, heavy and long periods.  

Calcium-d-glucarate has shown to lower;

  1. oestrogens
  2. testosterone
  3. inflammation
Deeper insights:

CDG increases glucuronidation. Glucuronidation reactions involve the metabolism of hormones testosterone and oestrogens, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), benzo(a)pyrene in burnt meat and some pharmaceutical drugs.

Glucuronidation can be affected by abnormal bowel bacteria (dysbiosis). Some bacteria secrete a chemical called beta-glucuronidase which stops glucuronidation and this can affect oestrogen and testosterone removal.

Calcium-D-Glucarate may have an anti-cancer effect by enhancing glucuronidation and mitigating the effect of beta-glucuronidase. High beta glucuronidase has been associated with breast, prostate and colon cancer.

Calcium D-Glucarate has been found to have an anti-inflammatory effect through the promotion of  the anti-inflammatory cytokine  IL-10 which modulates pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Hence in a PCOS setting of hyperoestrogens, hyperandrogens (hyperandrogenism), inflammation, and obesity, Calcium-D-Glucarate is well placed. Facilitate enhanced elimination of oestrogens reducing the potential risk of cancer, weight gain and ovarian dysfunction. Glucuronidation also eliminates testosterone one of many androgens which are major markers of PCOS and responsible for many distressing signs and symptoms and has an anti-inflammatory effect. 

From a PMS standpoint, CDG can effectively remove anxiety, breast tenderness and headaches from oestrogen dominance.

CURCUMIN

Curcumin is the yellow ingredient in the delicious spice Turmeric, long been recognized for its medicinal properties and necessary for tasty curries and desserts. Curcumin has been extensively researched for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin may also inhibit cancer.

 Curcumin for PCOS

PCOS patients suffer low grade chronic inflammation and oxidation. One of the main features of worsening PCOS is the development of Metabolic Syndrome (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood insulin high blood fats-triglycerides, weight gain).

Many factors in PCOS can results in The Metabolic Syndrome, one is inflammation.

Research shows Curcumin

  • reduces the Metabolic Syndrome by lowering inflammation and oxidation
  • assists Pancreatic function
  • reduces insulin resistance
  • improves ovarian function
  • assists weight loss as Curcumin increases fat burning and stops fat accumulation
  • can independently lower blood pressure
  • has been shown to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and raise ‘good’ cholesterol HDL
  • lowers blood fats (triglyerides)
  • blocks one of the major drivers of inflammation called NfKB (nuclear factor kappa beta).

Since overweight and obesity is experienced by 30-70% of PCOS patients and since inflammation  and dysfunctional immune activation is an up-stream mechanism in the inflammatory cascade which assails PCOS patients, to be able to treat weight gain and the pathological reasons behind it with curcumin, is an asset.

Many blood markers of inflammation have been shown to be raised in PCOS including CRP (C-reactive protein) and inflammatory cytokines (TNF alpha, IL-1b, IL-4, VEGF, IL-6, TGFb, MCP-1).

  • Curcumin lowers malondialdehyde (MDA).
  • Curcumin improves depression common in PCOS sufferers.

Curcumin works ‘on many fronts’, lowering inflammation (driven by immune dysfunction) and oxidation that is in part responsible for insulin resistance and the Metabolic Syndrome. 

Curcumin helps lower fat mass by burning fat and stopping fat accumulation. Lowering fat (and weight)can by itself start ovulation and increase the chance of pregnancy).

Curcumin indirectly supports healthy ovarian function by lowering inflammatory factors that disturb ovarian function.

Deeper insights:

Most of these benefits of curcumin can be attributed to its antioxidant boosting SOD, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and its potent anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin is also anti-mitogenic.

  • Curcumin suppresses reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) promoting pro-inflammatory gene expression and pro-inflammatory effects.  Hence curcumin provides dual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection.
  • Curcumin aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, Metabolic Syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia. It may also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery. 
  • Curcumin has been shown to attenuate several aspects of Metabolic Syndrome by improving insulin sensitivity. Curcumin improves overall function of pancreatic β-cells, supporting healthy insulin function.
  • Cytokines are involved in the development of metabolic abnormalities that may result in metabolic syndrome (MetS). PCOS sufferers are at risk of MetS.
  • Curcumin may improve improve MetS (hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinemia, visceral obesity, high cholesterol, hypertriglyceridemia)
  • Curcumin lowers many inflammatory cytokines which may be raised in PCOS (TNF alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and others).

PCOS is an inflammatory process, with raised inflammatory cytokines whose origin is likely genetic and possibly epigenetic (lifestyle, diet, stressors). To treat Metabolic Syndrome with standard care, would typically miss the underlying inflammatory mechanism. 

Curcumin has been shown to attenuate several aspects of MetS by not only improving insulin sensitivity but also suppressing adipogenesis. Curcumin directly interacts with white adipose tissue to suppress chronic inflammation. In adipose tissue, curcumin inhibits macrophage infiltration and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activation induced by inflammatory agents. Curcumin reduces the expression of the potent pro-inflammatory adipokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1), and it induces the expression of adiponectin, the principal anti-inflammatory agent secreted by adipocytes. 

Curcumin has effects to inhibit adipocyte diff
erentiation and to promote antioxidant activities. Through these diverse mechanisms curcumin reduces obesity and curtails the adverse health effects of obesity (Bradford 2013).

Hence curcumin is a ‘base’ nutritional intervention across vast swathes of pathophysiology that besets a PCOS sufferer. It is an integral member of PCOS SUPPORT and champions many regulatory features, including inflammation which it targets both at the level of cytokines but also at a nuclear inflammatory promoter level downregulating Nf-KB. Furthermore, at a tissue level Curcumin reduces COX and LOX eicosanoids lowering Prostaglandin E2 alpha (PGE2).

Through this anti-inflammatory and antioxidant intervention many of the signs and symptoms of PCOS are addressed.

Curcumin in PCOS SUPPORT Hormone Balance is the high bio-available BCM-95.

Conclusion:

At Life Source, the creation of PCOS SUPPORT Metabolic Balance and Hormone Balance addresses many of the hidden nuances in this very complex condition.

This highly researched and well considered PCOS Support formula by Dr. Russell P. Cooper, has been designed to be the ultimate baseline PCOS supplement and has garnered incredible results.

100% natural, Veg-caps, PCOS Support is made with the highest quality ingredients sourced from around the world.

PCOS Support helping you achieve the ‘Art of Being’

PCOS, Pandemics and Perseverance

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What a ‘wake-up call COVID-19 has been for all of us on so many levels.

We can take nothing for granted, we can be struck by the virus at a moment’s notice.

All our dreams and aspirations are as ephemeral as the wind.

Hi Dr Cooper here, Life Source Medical Director.

We have all been challenged massively. Our Governments have locked us in, our businesses have all but fallen over our routines and minds messed with as we all try to avoid becoming infected. Why is the COVID-19 pandemic even more disturbing for someone managing PCOS?

PCOS

Firstly, PCOS is more than missed periods, infertility, unwanted hair and also hair loss, weight gain and a myriad of other upsetting and confronting signs and symptoms not to forget the emotional upheaval.

Studies reveal immune genes are affected in PCOS, causing higher levels of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines). This can cause more inflammation, a hidden hallmark of this condition. It appears that these (‘messed up’) genes called gene ‘polymorphisms’, are an ‘upstream’ mechanism causing auto-antibodies to the pancreas, the thyroid glands and the ovaries and other organs. The results of these are weight gain, sluggish metabolism, period problems, high male hormones (androgens), and if that is not enough, the risk of poorer immunity amidst COVID-19.

PERSEVERANCE

Being home-bound and not having had access to gyms and others sporting venues has not helped, so the tendency to gain even more weight through reduced exercise just makes it all worse, not to mention eating ‘comfort’ foods as you power through another episode of a ‘Netflix’ series.

How can we become better in Mind Body and Spirit while negotiating this pandemic?

Let’s track back to what is behind the weight gain. It appears that the low grade chronic inflammation as a result of gene ….say it…..’polymorphisms’ cause The Metabolic Syndrome’  or MetS, which is the factory behind the fat. MetS includes insulin resistance, high blood sugars, high blood pressure, low good cholesterol (HDL) and high bad cholesterol (LDL). 

PROTECTION

SPOTLIGHT ON…. CURCUMIN

The extraordinary yellow spice which is so delicious in curries called Turmeric, is the source of Curcumin, which just ‘ticks all the boxes when it comes to inflammation. It is a powerful antioxidant and even has anti-depressant capabilities.

Curcumin has been shown to improving insulin sensitivity suppressing fat building (adipogenesis) reducing elevated blood pressure, inflammation oxidative stress high cholesterol and high blood fats (triglycerides)-Wow!- Curcumin is a great anti-inflammatory and is suppressing inflammation at many levels and in doing so reducing The metabolic Syndrome and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

PCOS SUPPORT

Remember: Curcumin is lowering inflammation, sensitizing the insulin receptor, reducing excessive insulin’s effect on the ovaries which in PCOS resulting in multiple immature follicle high androgens, high oestrogens, no ovulation, no progesterone, fluid retention, anxiety, depression and improve immune function. 

Curcumin is working for you on so many levels.

Next time you take a capsule of PCOS SUPPORT Hormone Balance, you are consuming a generous dose of high quality Curcumin which is a ‘One Stop Shop’. Along with other carefully targeted ingredients for PCOS relief and peace of Mind and Body. 

 

Self care

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When last did you really practice self care?

Not push yourself to go to the gym, starve your body of calories, compare yourself to others to get motivated or try a new beauty regime… we’re talking

REAL SELF CARE… the things many of us don’t do because we think it doesn’t give us much, change us as much, help make a difference as much.

Our lives and our bodies are a result of many different factors but we are usually too busy with life to realize what we are allowing until it is too late.

It’s a great time to be alive but it can also be tough if we don’t S.T.O.P once in a while and take stock. Not just of our actions but of our thoughts and inner dialogue which are usually negative. We deal with a lot more pressure which has come with the age of social media.

Perhaps some new self care habits can add a little more passion, self esteem, joy and beauty into all the madness.

Here are a few self care activities to try.

  1. Meditate: Cliché but a few minutes focusing on your breathing with your eyes closed and learning to ‘not need anything in the moment’ helps you slow down and has proven to be beneficial for your adrenals as well as cardiovascular health.
  2. Create: Make something. A cake, a blog post, knit, draw, colour in, learn to make candles, make anything. Humans are meant to create. It is in our nature. This is incredible therapy, nurturing your creative side and boosting your self esteem.
  3. Buddha once said to be healthy, one must always sweat. We’re not talking in the gym though. Go out for a walk, around the block or somewhere beautiful and inspiring. Go for a sauna, grab a bike, dance, whatever works for you.
  4. Appreciation: To say thank you is easy but to mean it is a little different. Looking around and feeling grateful for it all. The good and the bad. Being grateful for the hard stuff almost takes its power away. It makes up your life’s journey. It leads you on your own path. Its your wild, crazy beautiful life.
  5. Read: Not fictional books but something you can learn about. Finance, health, history, auto/biographies. Books that teaches you something new.
  6. Research: Food is always an issue especially with PCOS. Research your meals a week in advance and eating healthy will be so much easier. ‘Falling off the wagon’ shouldn’t be an issue… there actually isn’t a wagon, just great food and not so great. Never a reason to be upset.
  7. Literally. Phones, computers, TV’S. All the things trying to sell you stuff or distract you. Focus on you.
  8. Sleep.
  9. Have guts: Take a probiotic. A healthy gut is the foundation of a happy, healthy life.
  10. Do a social media clean out. Delete or mute negative accounts that don’t make you feel good.
  11. Do one thing that’s been sitting on your to do list forever that you haven’t got around to doing
  12. Be selfish. Just say NO
  13. Get 10 minutes of sun. A little dose of Vitamin D is crucial for mental and emotional happiness.
  14. Be your own best friend. If you were, what would you tell your self right now.
  15. Learn: Take an online course. Building a website, becoming a writer, there’re endless courses to choose from.
  16. Help: There is so much joy from helping others as well as building your own self esteem.
  17. Write: Morning pages is a great way to get everything off your chest.
  18. Pat: A pet…. Research has shown the incredible effects animals have on humans.
  19. Strength: Do something you’re good at. Whether its singing, cooking, arranging flowers, playing an instrument organizing, or dancing. Find an opportunity to do it today.

 

Living with PCOS – 5 tips for a happy, healthy life

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Living your best life with PCOS


Being diagnosed with PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome) or dealing with PCOS like symptoms can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. But, it does not need to feel this way. Changing up your lifestyle choices can make all the difference for a happy, healthy and productive life!
There is no cure for the PCOS but a life long commitment to healthy eating, exercise, a small mental adjustment and taking the proper PCOS supplements will give you all the control you need to thrive!

1. Sleep is your superpower

Sleep. More than 8 hours per night if you can! Your body needs the time in the sleep state to repair and this is all the more critical with PCOS.

  • Lack of sleep increases insulin (increasing fat storage) and sugar levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, risk of heart attack and/or heart failure.
  • Adequate sleep increases your immune system, reduces stress, decreases inflammation and improves mood swings.

2. Reduce your stress levels

Stress is a part of life and certain amounts of stress have been proven to be good for you. Although high levels of cortisol can prove to be disastrous for PCOS among other conditions, therefore its crucial to learn how to handle stress better. Meditation, yoga, keeping a journal, exercise and breathing techniques are all wonderful ways to help us get a handle on stress. When we are constantly under stress and handle it poorly, our body creates sequences of nerve cells firing and this releases chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol, known the 3 major stress hormones, into our bloodstream.

The pituitary gland is central to the stress circuit; the brain region called the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in response to stress, as a result, it stimulates the adrenals to produce cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, these are hormones that wreck havoc to an already unbalanced hormone system. ACTH also stimulates the production of the adrenal androgen hormones, and as a result, raises the male hormone levels in your body, which worsens PCOS symptoms. Keep in mind, some women can also develop “adrenal PCOS” that causes symptoms similar to ovarian cyst-driven PCOS.

3. Avoid Dairy and sugar

Milk contains an abundance of IGF-1, which is a growth hormone. Too much causes inflammation and insulin spikes, which causes the liver to produce even more growth hormone. Excess IGF-1 may lead to increased risk of diabetes and increased triglycerides. Dairy can also cause your skin to produce more sebum or excess oil leading to clogged pores and acne. Sugar and sugar-containing foods worsen PCOS symptoms and insulin resistance. Read our full post on: Diet, sugar and PCOS 

4. Use natural PCOS Supplements

Commit to a natural comprehensive PCOS supplement. Taking Life Source’s PCOS Support assists with balancing hormones naturally using powerful ingredients in therapeutic doses. Reducing the production of estrogens and androgens and improving progesterone levels as well as assisting with insulin resistance and inflammation. This helps ovulation, brings down the body’s acidity levels, reduces scalp hair loss, acne, unwanted hair growth (chest, back, neck, stomach) fatigue, cravings, anxiety, moodiness, water retention and body pain.

5. Change your mindset.

Being diagnosed with PCOS can be daunting, but remember… you are in control! Where your mind goes, your body follows. Negative thinking and negative self talk is one of the sure ways to not only cause stress but also hinder your physical, mental and emotional path to healing. Our belief systems are ultimately our compass through life which shapes our thinking, our inner dialog and ultimately our actions. Its not the events that shape our lives, but our beliefs as to what those events mean. Most of us have never evaluated our belief systems, sorting through our reasons or challenging them. Many of our beliefs were passed down to us, either through our families, teachers, friends and society. Some are important and valuable, while others are disempowering and destructive. Its important to do some self searching and highlight the parts of your belief system that does not serve you or your healing.

Positive affirmations everyday can have a wonderful effect on your journey to balance and harmony.

‘As he thinketh in his heart, so he is’ – Proverbs 23:7

 

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