Context: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy affecting women of reproductive age. Hyperandrogenism is the central feature of PCOS. Studies on isolated ovarian theca-interstitial cells suggest that resveratrol, a natural polyphenol, reduces androgen production.
Objective: This study was designed to evaluate endocrine and metabolic effects of resveratrol on PCOS.
Design and setting: This was a randomized (1:1) double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that evaluated the effects of resveratrol over a period of 3 months in an academic hospital.
Patients and other participants: Subjects with PCOS were identified according to the Rotterdam criteria. Thirty-four subjects were enrolled and 30 subjects completed the trial. Evaluations were performed at baseline and repeated after 3 months of treatment.
Intervention: Resveratrol (1,500 mg p.o.) or placebo were administered daily.
Main outcome measure: Primary outcome was the change in the serum total T.
Results: Resveratrol treatment led to a significant decrease of total T by 23.1% (P = .01). In parallel, resveratrol induced a 22.2% decrease of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (P = .01), a decrease of fasting insulin level by 31.8% (P = .007) and an increase of the Insulin Sensitivity Index (Matsuda and DeFronzo) by 66.3% (P = .04). Levels of gonadotropins, the lipid profile as well as markers of inflammation and endothelial function were not significantly altered.
Conclusions: Resveratrol significantly reduced ovarian and adrenal androgens. This effect may be, at least in part, related to an improvement of insulin sensitivity and a decline of insulin level.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01720459.