Disease & Illness

Red Wine Could Help Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Great news for PCOS sufferers—especially if you love wine!

What’s not to love about red wine? Besides being delicious and making you feel warm and fuzzy, it can help improve your heart health, fight against cancer and increase your lifespan. It might sound as good as it can get, but research shows that the boozy beverage also contains a compound that can help with the hormonal imbalances that cause polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

A study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes, nuts and berries, can significantly reduce the hormones that create hormone imbalances in women with PCOS, and can also improve insulin sensitivity. PCOS is caused by an imbalance of hormones, usually an overproduction of testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). It can cause problems with women’s periods, affect their fertility, and even affect how they look.

The team of researchers wanted to test the potential of the compound resveratrol on the mevalonate pathway—a metabolic mechanism that plays a role in reducing the production of androgens. Thirty women were randomly assigned to take either a resveratrol supplement or a placebo pill every day for three months. At the end of the study, the women who took the supplement showed reduced testosterone and DHEAS levels. They also showed reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity, which is also important as insulin can stimulate ovarian tissues and increase androgen production.

More research is needed to determine exactly how resveratrol can be used for future PCOS treatment, but this study shows promise for future solutions. One thing worth nothing: Although resveratrol is found in red wine, you unfortunately would need to drink over 100 bottles a day to have any real effect on PCOS symptoms, according to lead study author Antoni Duleba. You’re best bet is to stick to the supplements, and enjoy a glass of wine or two after a long day.