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Health Benefits of Myo-Inositol. Who Should Take it?

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Today’s hectic and complex lifestyles make it challenging to receive all the necessary nutrients from the food you eat. But certain nutrients are already present in your diet and body, making it easier for us to balance them. One of them is inositol.

Inositol genuinely refers to a set of 9 different stereoisomers; hence it is more accurate to use the plural form “Inositols.” Despite its widespread misinterpretation as vitamin B8, inositol is sugar with various beneficial metabolic roles as antioxidant qualities. In general, there are various isomers of the biological molecule inositol. We refer to Myo-inositol, the most bioavailable form.

Although it was found in muscle more than 150 years ago, it has only recently gained widespread scientific attention due to its realization and benefits for human health and fertility. Here is a small and precise difference between the two for better understanding.

Inositol Myo-inositol
Definition A carbolic sage is abundant in mammalian tissues and the brain. It is the most stable and vital stereoisomer of sugar inositol.
Structure  There are 9 different structures of sugar inositol. Occurs in a chair form.
Nature One of the 9 isomers is stable and abundant Most stable and abundant form.

Most of the inositol in nature is the Myo-inositol (MYO) isomer, with only a sprinkle of the D-chiro-inositol (DCI) form present. Recent research suggests that a combination of the two is superior to either type alone. That proportion is 40:1, or 40 parts of Myo-inositol to 1 of D-chiro-inositol.

But how does It work? 

Several biological functions rely on inositol, including:

Sources.

It has been studied that fruits, beans, grains, and nuts had the highest levels of Myo-inositol, with fresh produce being preferred over frozen or canned. It is best to get your inositol from wholesome sources like,

  • Whole Grains: Whole grain bread is one of the finest foods for increasing inositol consumption, with a whopping 11.5 milligrams per gram.
  • Fruits: Following fruits had the most quantity of Myo-inositol.
Fruits Inositol in grams.
  • Dried prunes
4.7mg/g 
  • Fresh Cantaloupe 
3.5mg/g
  • Oranges
3.7mg/g.
  • Grapefruit
1.99mg/g
  • Beans: Canned beans contained the most significant amount of Myo-inositol among the veggies, at 4.4 mg/g. Kidney beans had the second highest quantity with 2.49 mg/g, while fresh green beans had 1.93mg/g.
  • Dry Fruits and Nuts: Almonds, out of the seven nuts studied, had the greatest concentration of Myo-inositol, at 2.78 milligrams per gram. Walnuts’ 1.98 mg/g was observed.  Cashews, grated coconut, and sunflower seeds all had less than 1 mg per gram.

According to experts, the average American consumes about 1 gram of inositol daily from their diet, which is comparatively less.

Benefits of Myo-inositol.

Numerous studies on its health benefits led to its use as a dietary supplement. This section highlights human research to describe the effects of Inositol on the body, the evidence supporting these effects, and the magnitude of these effects.

The suggested dose of Myo-inositol for most individuals is 2,000 mg/2g.

Myo inositol Benefits in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Myo-inositol is recommended as a remedy for PCOS in women since it improves insulin resistance and fertility. High insulin levels are common in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) because of the condition’s association with decreased insulin sensitivity. 
It is common in women with PCOS; their bodies produce insulin but cannot utilize it properly. Studies have linked inositol to improvements in insulin signaling and glucose metabolism. Inositol supplementation has been demonstrated to increase insulin-receptor activation and reverse insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.  There is evidence that Myo-inositol can reduce insulin resistance by as much as 70%.
Myo-inositol and d-chiro inositol were shown to be beneficial in restoring ovarian function and metabolic balance in PCOS, according to a 2017 review of inositol use in PCOS published in Gynecological Endocrinology. 

Improves Fertility.  It has also been proven very effective for ovulation and improving fertility.  One research assessed the effects of inositol supplementation on PCOS hormones. After 12 weeks of administration. Inositol reduced LH and testosterone levels and increased LH/FSH ratio also, Insulin sensitivity and menstrual cyclicity improved in all patients.

Another study suggests that supplementing with inositol (4 g) and folic acid (400 mcg) daily for three months resulted in ovulation in 62% of treated women.

Research on 25 infertile women with PCOS, during the treatment with inositol supplement and folic acid, 22 women had spontaneous menstruation. In contrast, 18 had 6-month ovulation, and 10% had pregnancies which concluded that inositol supplementation could restore spontaneous ovarian function and fertility in most people with PCOS.

Improvement in Oocyte Quality. A woman’s fertility and clinical pregnancy rates are directly proportional to the quality of her oocytes. Inositol has increased oocyte quality, particularly in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. One study evaluated the effectiveness of inositol individuals undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Inositol dramatically increased the number of transplanted embryos and embryo quality, proving it effective in IVF.

Myo-inositol

Another study investigated the effects of inositol on fertility in PCOS patients receiving IVF procedures, namely the quality of oocytes, embryos, and other reproductive variables. The group who received the inositol had 58% better egg quality, oocyte formation, and better fertilization rates.

Increases Pregnancy Incidences.  In one trial, infertile PCOS women were given inositol supplements. Three months of inositol treatment improved metabolic and hormonal markers, and after six months, 45.5% of inositol-treated women were pregnant.

Gestational Diabetes. According to the 2019 study, people with PCOS are twice as at risk of developing gestational diabetes than non PCOS. It has been suggested in a few studies that taking 400 micrograms of folic acid and 4 grams of Myo-inositol daily during pregnancy has been suggested to reduce gestational diabetes for women with PCOS. (1) (2) (3) A 2012 research indicated Gestational Diabetes was less likely in pregnant females with PCOS who took Myo-inositol than those who did not take the supplement.

The use of inositol supplement combinations in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is promising, when compared to other methods of treating infertility, it is also quite inexpensive. Discuss it with your physician about it if you have PCOS to see whether you may benefit. Only women with PCOS should try to conceive while taking myo-inositol.

For the majority of human organs, a Myo to DCI ratio of 40:1 is ideal for PCOS. It’s recommended that you choose supplements that have the same Myo to DCI ratio for the best possible outcomes.

Helps in Metabolic Syndrome.

There is evidence from clinical trials that inositol supplements can help people with metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for various diseases such as diabetes and heart problems. The research found that when inositol supplement was taken in people at risk of metabolic syndrome, the risk was reduced by an average of 34% and 22%, respectively. In another study, it was studied that after receiving inositol treatment for three months, study participants showed considerable improvements in hormonal and metabolic markers.

In 2020, researchers studied the insulin-sensitizing actions of myo-inositol in human endometrial cells subjected to PCOS. The researchers found that myo-inositol might be utilized to treat PCOS by improving metabolic and reproductive factors.

Helps in Anxiety.

When given in large doses, inositol alleviates some anxiety symptoms and has shown promise in treating panic disorder. Evidence supports fewer anxiety-related panic attacks in people who took inositol supplements.  Also, in 4-week research, 12 grams of inositol per day reduced panic attacks.

Bipolar Disorder.

In a short study of children with bipolar spectrum disorders, taking 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and 2 grams of inositol daily for 12 weeks reduced mania and depression.

Skin Issues
  • Due to its potential to lower insulin levels, inositol may also be useful for treating hirsutism and clearing up acne. 24 weeks of supplements may be necessary before you see improvements in acne and hirsutism and this may only apply to acne in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Moreover, research suggests that taking 3 to 6 grammes of inositol daily may alleviate psoriasis symptoms brought on by lithium medicine used in OCD.
Preterm Respiratory Issues.

It has been found that inositol can aid in the treatment of preterm infants’ breathing difficulties caused by their undeveloped lungs.

Dosing.

Myo-inositol supplements, rather than food sources, have shown the greatest promise in the available studies; it is also highly doubtful that food sources could provide sufficient quantities to produce a therapeutic impact.

According to research, the following doses can be considered.

  • The recommended inositol dosage for PCOS is 2 g, twice a day. Inositol works best with 400mcg of folic acid and when taken 30 minutes before a meal. In trials, pregnant women have consumed up to 4 grams of inositol per day without experiencing deleterious effects.
  • To treat metabolic syndrome, take 2 grams of Myo-inositol twice a day for 12 months.
  • To regulate glucose levels during pregnancy with diabetes, pregnant women should take 2 grams of Myo-inositol and 400 mcg of folic acid twice a day.
  • It is recommended that 12-18 grams of myo-inositol be taken once a day for 4-6 weeks in order to treat mental-health conditions. (1)

Dosage and Effective Timeline.

1 Month: Studies show that 20 people with panic disorder got an 18-gram inositol supplement or an anxiety medication for 1 month. Inositol users experienced fewer weekly panic attacks than anxiety drug users. Another study mentions the use of 12 grams and has less anxiety due to stress and fewer depressive episodes. 

6 weeks: Taking 18 grams of inositol daily for 6 weeks has shown promise in reducing OCD symptoms in a small trial.

6 months: After 6 months of usage of supplement, of 6 grams, the improvement in pregnancy ratio was seen among PCOS women.

1 year: Using 2 grams of Myo-inositol for a year has proved to reduce metabolic syndrome risk factors effectively.

Another research suggested that 2 grams of inositol+folic acid tremendously improved fertility among the participants.

Precautions.

There’s a chance you’ll want to experiment with inositol products on your own. That won’t be an encouraging concept.

  • Myo-inositol should not be used by women with low androgens. And one of the classical symptoms of PCOS is high level of androgen, that is why it is considered a very effective treatment for women in this case. Even in one study, a 50% drop was seen in androgen level after supplementation. Myo-inositol has the opposite impact on ovaries than intended in all other infertile individuals, causing testosterone levels to drop from normal to abnormally low.
  • If your health professional agrees and you decide to use inositol, you may need to be extra cautious about what you consume. Some artificial sugars and sugar alcohols diminish the effectiveness of these nutritional supplements.
  • Furthermore, the safety of inositol supplementation over the long term is also up for debate. For the most part, inositol research only involved participants taking the supplement for a year.
  • Inositol, when used with diabetic medicine, may result in dangerously low blood sugar levels. That is why it is recommended to control your blood sugar levels with caution.

Side Effects: Some modest side effects have been documented in scientific literature. These include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, flatulence, and diarrhea, and neurological symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and headache. (1) (2)

Myo-inositol has shown the most promise in improving female fertility, restoring insulin sensitivity in cases of resistance (type II diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome are the most widely examined), and lowering anxiety. Myo-inositol is widely regarded as an effective treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women because of its positive effects on insulin resistance and fertility.

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