Flax Supplementation with Lifestyle Changes Helps Manage PCOS

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By Agata P. | Updated: Mar 28, 2024

Flax Supplementation with Lifestyle Changes Helps Manage PCOS
General Information
  • 24 Jan 2020
  • Iran
  • Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences
  • Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences
  • Clinical trial
  • 48 women
  • 12 weeks

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most prevalent endocrine disorder among women of childbearing age. The disorder's rising incidence globally has led to a surge in the exploration of alternative treatments, including the use of herbs such as aloe verachamomile, and fennel.1 This study investigates the potential benefits of flaxseed powder supplementation on metabolic markers in women with PCOS.

The Study

Conducted as a randomized, open-label controlled clinical trial, this study involved 41 women with PCOS who were divided into two groups. One group received a daily dose of 30 grams of ground flaxseed along with lifestyle modifications, while the control group underwent lifestyle changes alone.

Both groups were monitored over a 12-week period, with comprehensive anthropometric and biochemical evaluations conducted at the start and end of the trial.

The Results

The flaxseed group showed significant improvements in several metabolic biomarkers. Notably, there were reductions in body weight, waist circumference, and BMI, potentially enhancing metabolic and cardiovascular health in women with PCOS.

Furthermore, there was a substantial increase in adiponectin levels, a circulating protein whose low levels may contribute to insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in women with PCOS.

Moreover, flaxseed intake led to reduced triglyceride (TG) levels, increased HDL levels, decreased leptin levels, and improved insulin sensitivity, as indicated by beneficial effects on serum insulin level, HOMA-IR, and QUICKI. The higher lignan and fiber content in flaxseed may have contributed to improved insulin sensitivity by reducing glucose uptake speed and insulin release.

What Does this Mean?

The findings of this study highlight the potential of flaxseed for PCOS management when combined with lifestyle changes.

These results are important for women with PCOS as they suggest that flaxseed supplementation could offer various health benefits, including improved insulin metabolism, lipid profile, inflammation, and body composition. They underscore flaxseed's role as a supportive treatment for PCOS, encouraging further exploration of its natural therapeutic benefits.

In addition to flaxseed, other herbs and foods like tomatoesspinachalmonds, and quinoa could be beneficial additions to a PCOS diet, contributing to overall health and symptom management.


  • Nutrition Journal, The effects of flaxseed supplementation on metabolic status in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized open-labeled controlled clinical trial, 2020


  1. JBRA Assisted Reproduction. (2023). Polycystic ovaries and herbal remedies: A systematic review. Retrieved January 14, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10065776/