Wild Yam Root Relieved PCOS Symptoms

by Pam
(Michigan)

While at the doctor's office, I asked to talk with a female doctor. My doctor is a teaching doctor. There are always new medical faces in the office, eager to learn. Most of the time, I'm happy to talk with them. On this particular day, I didn't feel like talking with any male physicians. I wanted someone who could at least empathize with my situation.

They sent in a holistic nurse practitioner. We went over my medical history and she shared that she has PCOS. She recommended that I try wild yam root and that I should purchase it from a whole foods store. Apparently when you purchase supplements from a whole foods store, you are getting a better quality of supplements.

So I tried the wild yam root and within a week I notice less hair. That seems to be getting steadily better. It is regulating my periods too. I swear my waist line is shrinking as well. I was having perimenopausal symptoms. It seems to be reversing these symptoms.

I feel so lucky to have met this nurse practitioner. She gave me better advice than any doctor I have met. It took me too many years to find her. That is why I felt compelled to share this success story. Maybe it will help a few women out who are experiencing the same frustrating, lack of knowledge in the medical community.

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Editor's comments:

Thanks for sharing this, Pam! Congrats on getting some positive results.

The primary active component of wild yam is thought to be diosgenin. Diosgenin is found in a variety of plants including fenugreek and roots of wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). Its extracts have been traditionally used to treat diabetes and high cholesterol. It has a various biological functions, especially anti-inflammatory properties.

Since chronic inflammation is a root cause of PCOS, it's not surprising that you might see some positive results.

A lot of people mistakenly think that wild yam is a source of progesterone. This is a misconception.

Progesterone is secreted by the corpus luteum (part of your ovaries).

The hormone is not available from any natural source without extraction and synthesis. "Natural" or "bio-identical" progesterone are products that are identical to the progesterone you make in your body. However, they are synthesized in the laboratory from diosgenin, found in wild yam. In the lab, diosgenin is converted to pregnenolone and then to progesterone.

The human body is not capable of synthesizing progesterone from diosgenin.

The fact that wild yam extract is available in health food stores is no guarantee whatsoever that the product is potent or that the contents match what is indicated on the label. It's always a good idea to keep in mind that there is no quality regulation of nutritional supplements. Therefore you really have no way of knowing what you're actually getting, unless the manufacturer can verify quality by independent laboratory testing. Plant extracts are notorious for variable quality and potency, which partially explains the variable results that people get from taking extracts.

You have to "assume" that the label is accurate and that the contents are what they claim to be.

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wild yam comments
by: PCOS Editor

Many people believe wild yam contains progesterone. This is not true.

A large number of herbs and plants affect the function and production of hormones in your body, in one way or another. These plants are referred to as phytosteroids. Wild yam is one of these.

Steroids are a large class of organic compounds found in many hormones, alkaloids, and vitamins.

Phytosteriods are structurally different from animal steroids and mechanisms of physiological action are also different.

Therefore, taking wild yam is not the same thing as taking bioidentical natural progesterone and applying it to the skin.

It is widely believed that wild yam increases progesterone production. However, we've seen one study that indicates it has an anti-progesterone effect. Other studies suggest it might increase production of both estrogen and progesterone. Yet others suggest it only increases estrogen production.

Substances found in wild yam might also have anti-inflammatory effects, help to reduce obesity, and improve blood sugar metabolism.

It's not clear whether wild yam will increase or inhibit ovulation. To the extent you are not ovulating, there is a good chance you have "estrogen dominance" and a progesterone insufficiency. It's conceivable that wild yam could increase estrogen production, which is not what you would want.

On the other hand, wild yam might be helpful with other PCOS symptoms.

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wild yam and ovulation.
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am 30 year old female ttc for the first time. I am taking wild yam for PCOS and it seems to help.

But I just heard it acts as contraceptive by stopping ovulation can you please explain. I am really confused now.

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