Functional Nutrition is all about addressing the root causes of dysfunction in the body to help bring about optimal health from the inside out.
It would be wonderful if high quality food were enough for everyone to see excellent results, but sometimes our bodies need a bit more help to get there. That's why Amber uses specialized supplementation from therapeutic-grade brands in her practice to help her clients.
Some of these are only available when working one on one with her, but many can be purchased over the counter. Below are her favorites to use, how and why they work.
Supplements can be very helpful, but they won't replace poor diet choices. Make sure that with any supplements you take, you're also eating a healthy diet to make sure you get the best results.
Please understand that this information is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your doctor (and ideally a nutrition professional as well) to ensure that any supplements you take are right for you.
I do earn a commission from any products you might purchase through my links, thank you so much for your support!
PCOS is a gynecological condition that effects about 15% of biologically female people worldwide. It's the most common condition of it's kind and is characterized by a combination of two of three factors: insulin resistance, high androgens, cystic ovaries, and irregular menstrual cycles.
PCOS has three main root causes that can vary from person to person: insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and adrenal dysfunction.
Most people with PCOS have elements of all three issues because the body is a system where everything is connected to everything else. When your hormones are imbalanced, it's an indication that something deeper is also imbalanced. The deepest issues in the body are our gut health and immune health, our stress response systems, and our blood sugar regulation.
In PCOS, there's a strong gut health component, which often leads to issues with chronic inflammation, food allergies/sensitivities, and sometimes a connection to autoimmunity. There's also a strong need for blood sugar balance because insulin resistance can affect inflammation levels, raise testosterone, and stress the adrenals.
Stress relief (both through lifestyle change and nutrition) is an under-appreciated part of PCOS. If our stress responses are over-activated, it can lead to gut health issues, insulin resistance, higher blood sugar, and higher androgen levels.
My course, Functional PCOS, is a comprehensive guide to understanding PCOS, including lots of information about figuring out your own root issues. There's also a comprehensive supplement guide with more than 20 different commonly recommended PCOS supplements explaining what they do, why they work and who they're good (and not right) for. I highly recommend this course, you can find more information here.
My top three supplements for PCOS all revolve around addressing these deeper root cause issues. I hope they help you!
Thorne's Ovarian care is one of the best all around supplements for PCOS.
It combines the power of inositol (in the correct 40:1 ratio) with polyphenols and antioxidants from plant superfoods, and Co-Q_10 to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce oxidative stress.
Inositol is probably one of the best studied supplements for PCOS as well, with evidence that it may improve menstrual regularity and ovulation.
I like that this blend is in powder form so it's simple to drink with a glass of water or add to a smoothie.
Learn more here.
My personal favorite supplement for PCOS, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) can help with many PCOS symptoms.
NAC is a pre-cursor to glutathione, often called the body's "master" antioxidant. Those with PCOS are often deficient in glutathione. NAC can help us make the glutathione we need to reduce oxidative stress. This in turn can also help to improve insulin sensitivity and testosterone balance.
PCOS specific studies have shown that NAC can help to improve testosterone levels, reduce facial hair, and lower inflammation. It's also been shown to improve egg quality and ovulation and I frequently use it in those in my practice who are trying to conceive.
Learn more here.
Because PCOS has such a strong connection to gut health, I don't like to make a supplement routine without addressing the microbiome.
The microbiome is the collection of bacteria that live in our gut and represent one of the main centers of our immune health. For us to be in alignment, the bacteria need to be in balance. When they aren't, as is very common in PCOS, it can contribute to other issues like insulin resistance (our gut bacteria help determine how sensitive we are to insulin), chronic inflammation (dysbiosis can contribute to food sensitivity development) and adrenal dysfunction (chronic inflammation in the gut is a major stress on the body).
Gut health is a hot topic these days and misinformation on it abounds. Everyone is truly different with what helps their unique gut health, but most people with PCOS do well with some daily support of beneficial bacteria.
I use this probiotic frequently in practice and have seen great results!
Learn more here.