Clinical and Metabolic Responses to Magnesium Supplementation in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


We hypothesized that magnesium supplementation might help improve metabolic profiles and clinical symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) through its role in insulin action. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of magnesium supplementation on metabolic profiles and levels of sex hormones in women with PCOS. In this parallel randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 60 women with PCOS aged 20–45 years were recruited. After stratification for body mass index (BMI), age, and types of medications, participants were randomly assigned to consume magnesium supplements (containing 250 mg magnesium oxide) or placebo for 8 weeks. To assess biochemical indicators, a venous blood sample was taken after an overnight fasting. The mean age of study participants was 26.4 years. We found that magnesium supplementation for 8 weeks among women with PCOS had favorable effects on BMI compared with the placebo group (changes from baseline in intervention group: − 0.31 ± 0.07 vs. 0.07 ± 0.09 kg/m2 in control group). In addition, the supplementation lead to preventing the increase in waist circumference in intervention group compared with the control group (0.02 vs. 1.15 cm). No significant effects on glycemic variables and lipid profile were seen following the magnesium supplementation. A significant increase in serum LH levels in intervention group and a decrease in placebo group were observed (P = 0.01). Although we found a significant decrease in serum testosterone levels in intervention and placebo groups, comparing the changes between the two groups, a marginally significant difference in serum testosterone levels was found (51.65 vs. 47.80 in intervention, 43.41 vs. 39.46 in placebo, P = 0.08). A significant increase in serum dehydroepiandrogens (DHEA) (136.32 vs. 172.37 intervention, 102.74 vs. 120.15 placebo, P = 0.01) was seen in two groups. Magnesium supplementation had no significant effects on FSH, 17OH-progesteron, sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG), and free androgen index (FAI) levels. We found evidence indicating that magnesium supplementation did not influence serum lipid profiles and glycemic indicators among women with PCOS. Magnesium supplementation resulted in reduced BMI and testosterone levels as well as increased DHEA concentrations in women with PCOS. Also, magnesium supplementation may increase serum LH levels. IRCT registration no. NCT02178150

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Polycystic ovary syndrome


Fasting plasma glucose


Body mass index






Sex hormone–binding globulin


Free androgen index


Homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance


Homeostatic model assessment of β-cell function


Quantitative insulin sensitivity check index


Coefficients of variability


Standard deviation


Blood pressure


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This study was extracted from a MSc dissertation which was approved by the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (No. 193021). We wish to thank all individuals who kindly participated in our study.


The financial support for this study comes from the Food Security Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

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MF, LA, FM, PS, and AE contributed in conception, design, statistical analyses, data interpretation, and manuscript drafting. All authors approved the final manuscript for submission.

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Correspondence to Ahmad Esmaillzadeh.

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The study was approved by the ethics committee of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Farsinejad-Marj, M., Azadbakht, L., Mardanian, F. et al. Clinical and Metabolic Responses to Magnesium Supplementation in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Biol Trace Elem Res 196, 349–358 (2020).

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  • Magnesium
  • Supplementation
  • PCOS
  • Sex hormones
  • Metabolic profiles
  • Insulin