PCOS is a common reproductive1 hormonal disorder2 and one of the leading causes of female reproductive health issues3,4.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common reproductive disorder1 that affects as many as 10% of the female population3. It is defined as a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age2.
In fact, according to the Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa, PCOS is one of the leading causes of female reproductive health issues and the most frequent endocrine problem in women of reproductive age3.
While signs and symptoms of PCOS vary from patient to patient, a diagnosis of PCOS is made when a woman experiences at least two of the following signs: irregular periods, excessive androgen (elevated levels of this male hormone) and polycystic ovaries2 (the term used when ovaries become enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs, which may result in the ovaries failing to function regularly)2.
PCOS is associated with many health conditions and has an impact on various metabolic processes in the body4. Left untreated, PCOS may lead to serious long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease2 and an increase in the development of ovarian cancer5. PCOS signs and symptoms are also typically more severe if a woman is obese2.
Conditions related to PCOS
60-80% of women with PCOS suffer from insulin resistance and excess body fat, 95% have irregular periods and may not ovulate, 60% suffer from hair loss, acne and unwanted hair growth and 20% have reproductive health problems4.
A study showed that up to 82% of women diagnosed with PCOS were unaware of their condition6.
While the health effects of PCOS can severely affect a woman’s quality of life4, it is the effect on reproductive health issues that can be particularly heart-breaking. Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause of irregular menstruation that can lead to reproduction problems4.
Treating PCOS with Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring7 compound with antioxidant properties8 which may have a promising effect on PCOS9.
Based on its antioxidant properties, Alpha-Lipoic Acid may assist with PCOS symptoms,9. In fact, when combined with myo-inositol, a type of sugar that helps provide structure to your cells and has an effect on insulin10, this combination could assist in restoring normal menstrual cycles in women with PCOS9.
Supplement that may assist with PCOS related symptoms
Sinopol® is a new three-in-one formulation that may help manage certain symptoms of PCOS. It contains Alpha Lipoic Acid (400mg), Myo-Inositol (1000mg) as well as Folic Acid (200µg)11. This combination of ingredients may assist with endocrine and metabolic imbalances linked to insulin resistance and reproductive health issues in women with PCOS12,13,14,15
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about any possible PCOS symptoms or associated reproductive health issues.
Proprietary name (and dosage form): SINOPOL® Granules. Composition: Each sachet contains: Myo-inositol 1 000 mg, Alpha Lipoic Acid 400 mg and Folic Acid 200 μg. Complementary Medicine: Health Supplement. D34.12 Multiple Substance formulation. This unregistered medicine has not been evaluated by SAHPRA for its quality, safety or intended use. Studies as part of the references were not conducted on Sinopol®. Name and business address of applicant: iNova Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Limited. Co. Reg. No. 1952/001640/07, 15e Riley Road, Bedfordview. Tel. No. 011 087 0000. www.inovapharma.co.za. For more information, speak to your healthcare professional. Further
information is available on request from iNova Pharmaceuticals. IN3997/20
- Web MD. Why is PCOS hard to diagnose (2016) at https://www.webmd.com/women/features/pcos-polycistic-ovary-syndrome-women#1 (Website accessed on3 July 2019)
- Mayo Clinic. Polycystic ovary syndrome (2017) at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353443 (Website accessed on3 July 2019)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Barthelmess EK, Naz RK. Polycystic ovary syndrome: current status and future perspective. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2014 Jan 1; 6:104-19.
- Carmina, E Rogerio A. Lobo, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Arguably the Most Common Endocrinopathy Is Associated with Significant Morbidity in Women, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 84, Issue 6, 1 June 1999, Pages 1897–1899, https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem.84.6.5803
- Sharif, E. et al. The frequency of polycystic ovary syndrome in young reproductive females in Qatar. International Journal of Women’s Health 2017:9 1–10
- Web MD. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) (2019) at https://www.webmd.com/diet/alpha-lipoic-acid-ala#1 (website accessed on 25 August 2020)
- WEB MD. ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID overview (2020) at https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-767/alpha-lipoic-acid (website accessed on 25 August 2020)
- Fruzzetti, F et al. Clinical and Metabolic Effects of Alpha-Lipoic Acid Associated with Two Different Doses of Myo-Inositol in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. International Journal of Endocrinology. Volume 2020, Article ID 2901393, 8 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/2901393
- What is Inositol? (2018) at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/inositol#other-benefits (website accessed on 9 November 2020)
- Sinopol® package insert, February 2019.
- Rago R, Marcucci I, Leto G, et al. Effect of myo-inositol and alpha-lipoic acid on oocyte quality in polycystic ovary syndrome non-obese women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a pilot study. J Biol Regulators Homeostatic Agents 2015;29(4):1-11.
- Genazzani AD, Shefer K, Della Casa D, et al. Modulatory effects of alpha‑lipoic acid (ALA) administration on insulin sensitivity in obese PCOS patients. J Endocrinol Invest 2018; 41:583–590.
- Carbonelli MG, Di Renzo L, Bigioni M, et al. α-Lipoic Acid Supplementation: A Tool for Obesity Therapy? Curr Pharmaceut Design 2010; 16:840-846.
- De Cicco S, Immediata V, Romualdi D, et al. Myoinositol combined with alpha-lipoic acid may improve the clinical and endocrine features of polycystic ovary syndrome through an insulin-independent action. Gynecol Endocrinol 2017;33(9):698–701.