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B vitamins, polycystic ovary syndrome, and fertility

Sarah Thornburgh,Audrey J Gaskins

B vitamins
Obesity
Population
This review provides a general overview of the literature on B vitamins and fertility, as well as summarizes the evidence concerning B vitamin supplementation and fertility among polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) women.Studies among women conceiving with and without medical assistance provide strong evidence for a beneficial effect of B vitamins, particularly folate and vitamin B12, on fecundability and fertility. Moreover, recent work suggests that effects may be even more pronounced among women with menstrual cycle dysfunction (a common symptom of PCOS). Among PCOS women, intervention studies have demonstrated that folic acid supplementation may reduce homocysteine levels, potentially improve women's metabolic profiles, and possibly ameliorate some hallmark features of PCOS. Although none of these intervention studies have included fertility endpoints, it is possible that by reducing homocysteine levels (or other clinical/biochemical features) in PCOS women, there may be a downstream improvement in fertility outcomes.There is growing evidence folate (and possibly vitamin B12) supplementation may be beneficial to fertility in women. Although most studies have not exclusively focused on women with PCOS, there is biological plausibility and some evidence that B vitamin supplementation may be even more important for improving reproductive health outcomes in PCOS women.


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