Effects of Zinc Supplementation on Endocrine Outcomes in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Apr;170(2):271-8. doi: 10.1007/s12011-015-0480-7. Epub 2015 Aug 28.


The current study was conducted to evaluate the effects of zinc supplementation on endocrine outcomes, biomarkers of inflammation, and oxidative stress in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study was a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Forty-eight women (18-40 years) with PCOS diagnosed according to Rotterdam criteria were randomly assigned to receive either 220 mg zinc sulfate (containing 50 mg zinc) (group 1; n = 24) and/or placebo (group 2; n = 24) for 8 weeks. Hormonal profiles, biomarkers of inflammation, and oxidative stress were measured at study baseline and after 8-week intervention. After 8 weeks of intervention, alopecia (41.7 vs. 12.5%, P = 0.02) decreased compared with the placebo. Additionally, patients who received zinc supplements had significantly decreased hirsutism (modified Ferriman-Gallwey scores) (-1.71 ± 0.99 vs. -0.29 ± 0.95, P < 0.001) and plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (-0.09 ± 1.31 vs. +2.34 ± 5.53 μmol/L, P = 0.04) compared with the placebo. A trend toward a significant effect of zinc intake on reducing high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels (P = 0.06) was also observed. We did observe no significant changes of zinc supplementation on hormonal profiles, inflammatory cytokines, and other biomarkers of oxidative stress. In conclusion, using 50 mg/day elemental zinc for 8 weeks among PCOS women had beneficial effects on alopecia, hirsutism, and plasma MDA levels; however, it did not affect hormonal profiles, inflammatory cytokines, and other biomarkers of oxidative stress.

Keywords: Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Polycystic ovary syndrome; Reproductive outcomes; Supplementation; Zinc.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Zinc / administration & dosage*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Malondialdehyde
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Zinc

Associated data

  • IRCT/IRCT201407115623N24