3 Reasons to Take Vitamin D If You Have PCOS

The effect of vitamin D on health and wellness is gaining more recognition. It helps build strong bones and could potentially play a role in boosting your ability to fight colds and respiratory infections.

Vitamin D affects many systems in your body, and a deficiency is related to serious diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. This vitamin may also play a role in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Woman pouring vitamin D capsules into her hand


About 67% to 85% of women with PCOS are vitamin D deficient, which means they don’t have the recommended amount of vitamin D in their bodies.

In this article, you’ll gain a better understanding of why taking vitamin D could help you with fertility problems, mood disorders, and chronic diseases related to PCOS.

Improves Fertility

PCOS often causes irregular periods, which can lead to fertility problems. Having a regular menstrual cycle is one of the factors necessary for conception.

In addition, studies show that vitamin D plays a role in egg development in animals. Egg development is crucial for conception.

Along with infertility treatments, getting adequate amounts of vitamin D may help mitigate these issues for women with PCOS who are experiencing pregnancy challenges.

Lowers Your Risk of Other Diseases

PCOS is associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome. In fact, metabolic syndrome affects 33% of women with PCOS. This syndrome refers to a group of conditions that put you at risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

These conditions include:

To prevent complications related to metabolic syndrome, women with PCOS are usually advised to lose weight and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. 

A lack of vitamin D has been directly linked to metabolic syndrome.

For instance, in studies:

  • Vitamin D helped prevent insulin resistance, a condition in which your body can’t regulate blood sugar.
  • Insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels improved for overweight women with PCOS who took vitamin D for eight weeks.
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements significantly reduced blood pressure in women with PCOS.

The data in all of these areas are mixed, and more studies are needed to definitely know whether Vitamin D is helpful in treating these conditions.

Better Mood

It’s estimated that 50% of women with PCOS suffer from anxiety and up to 27% are depressed. These rates are much higher than those of depression and anxiety among women without PCOS. And, people who have too little vitamin D are more likely to have depression.

Anxiety and depression can be caused by a number of factors related to PCOS symptoms:

  • Hormone imbalances may throw off mood.
  • PCOS-associated hirsutism (growth of facial hair) and body changes can make women self-conscious about their appearance.
  • Dealing with health complications can cause physical and financial stress.
  • Infertility can lead to severe depression.

There's a difficult cycle between depression and PCOS-related illnesses. Symptoms of depression may include appetite changes, physical pain, digestive issues, and sleep problems. These can further aggravate health problems that are associated with PCOS, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. 

Increasing your vitamin D may be one way to help regulate your mood and break out of the cycle in which health problems lead to depression and depression leads to even more health problems.

How Much Vitamin D Is Needed?

There isn’t a suggested dosage of vitamin D specifically for PCOS. Women ages 19 to 50 are advised to take 600 IU each day, but this may not be sufficient for many women with PCOS.

Some women may need to increase their intake. Talk to your doctor about your specific needs.

Sources of Vitamin D

The sun provides as much as 90% of the body’s vitamin D. That may not be enough to meet your overall vitamin D needs, though.

Few foods naturally contain a significant amount of vitamin D.

You can get some vitamin D from:

  • Fortified milk and cereals
  • Eggs
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna

Sun safety is important, but wearing sunscreen blocks the sun's rays from your skin to such an extent that your body can't get enough sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D. Many areas of the United States also don’t get enough sunlight to ensure that those living there get enough exposure to make sufficient vitamin D.


Vitamin D deficiency might exacerbate some symptoms of PCOS. Along with PCOS treatment, taking a daily vitamin D supplement with 600 IU may help some PCOS problems such as infertility, weight gain, and anxiety. This can improve your overall health and further improve your emotional state and energy, which can improve your overall wellness. However, more data is needed to know whether taking Vitamin D supplements can be beneficial for any of these conditions. Vitamin D supplements are not "miracle pills" that will make PCOS or other illnesses disappear, but they could be an important part of living well with PCOS.

13 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading

By Angela Grassi, MS, RDN, LDN
 Angela Grassi, MS, RDN, LDN, is the founder of the PCOS Nutrition Center.