A natural compound found in red wine and grapes can help women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) tackle hormone imbalance, according to a new study whose results were published Tuesday. The compound resveratrol, which is also found in nuts, is believed to act like antioxidants and protect the heart from diseases.

Slightly higher amounts of testosterone levels are found in women with PCOS rather than androgen hormones. Testosterone is a reproductive hormone in men. However, women also have small amounts of these hormones. Increased levels of testosterone in women with PCOS lead to irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility, weight gain, acne or excess hair on the face and body. PCOS also increases risk of diabetes in women.

According to Womenshealth.gov, PCOS affects one in 10 women of childbearing age. It is also a common but treatable cause of infertility.

For the study, researchers examined 30 women diagnosed with PCOS for three months. They were randomly assigned to take either a resveratrol supplement or a placebo pill every day for three months. Blood samples of the women were taken prior and after the study to find out levels of testosterone and other androgen hormones. The participants also had to take oral glucose tolerance tests before and after the study to determine diabetes risk factors.

Results showed that total testosterone levels declined by 23.1 percent in women who took resveratrol supplement. However, these levels were increased by 2.9 percent in the placebo group. Levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate — another hormone that the body can convert into testosterone — also reduced by 22.2 percent in participants who were on resveratrol supplement as opposed to 10.5 percent increase in the levels in placebo group.

Furthermore, the study results showed that women on resveratrol supplement had decreased risk diabetes. Fasting insulin levels in the resveratrol group declined by 31.8 percent and they became more responsive to the hormone insulin over the course of the study.

“The findings suggest resveratrol can improve the body's ability to use insulin and potentially lower the risk of developing diabetes,” Antoni J. Duleba, MD, of the University of California, and senior author of the study said, in a statement. “The supplement may be able to help reduce the risk of metabolic problems common in women with PCOS.”

The study was published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.