The Role of Vitamin D Oral Supplementation in Insulin Resistance in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Nutrients. 2018 Nov 2;10(11):1637. doi: 10.3390/nu10111637.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of vitamin D supplementation (alone or with co-supplementation) on insulin resistance in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Methods: We performed a literature search of databases (Medline, Scopus, Web of Knowledge, Cochrane Library) and identified all reports of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published prior to April 2018. We compared the effects of supplementation with vitamin D alone (dose from 1000 IU/d to 60,000 IU/week) or with co-supplements to the administration of placebos in women diagnosed with PCOS. The systematic review and meta-analysis protocol was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (Prospero) as number CRD42018090572.

Main results: Eleven of 345 identified studies were included in the analysis; these involved 601women diagnosed with PCOS. Vitamin D as a co-supplement was found to significantly decrease fasting glucose concentrations and the HOMA-IR value. HOMA-IR also declined significantly when vitamin D was supplemented with a dose lower than 4000 IU/d.

Conclusions: Evidence from RCTs suggests that the supplementation of PCOS patients with continuous low doses of vitamin D (<4000 IU/d) or supplementation with vitamin D as a co-supplement may improve insulin sensitivity in terms of the fasting glucose concentration (supplementation with vitamin D in combination with other micronutrients) and HOMA-IR (supplementation with vitamin D in continuous low daily doses or as co-supplement).

Keywords: 25(OH)D; glucose; insulin resistant; polycystic ovary syndrome; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / pharmacology*


  • Vitamin D