What is Inositol?
June 13, 2022

What is Inositol?

Inositol is a safe and effective PCOS supplement that can help alleviate your symptoms. If you're looking for a natural way to treat your PCOS, keep reading to learn about the wonders of inositol.

Specific types of sugar support the functions of the human body by preventing health imbalances. One of them happens to be inositol. If you've never heard of it, you're in luck because this article will walk you through this beneficial chemical, and how it can help with a variety of health conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS.

Inositol is a type of sugar molecule that's found in many foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. It's also produced by the body in small amounts. Inositol has a variety of functions in the body, including helping to regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and promoting healthy cell growth.

This naturally occurring chemical has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of a variety of health issues, including:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

Benefits of inositol for PCOS patients

PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a condition that affects about 10% of reproductive-age women and is characterised by high testosterone levels. This results in an irregular or absent menstrual cycle, and sometimes ovarian cysts and problems with fertility. Inositol has been shown to improve fertility in women with PCOS and to help reduce other symptoms such as weight gain, hair loss and acne.

Many women with PCOS have high insulin levels because their bodies produce insulin but cannot effectively use it. Diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and infertility are all influenced by poor insulin receptors.

Inositol aids in the balance of chemicals responsible for blood sugar control and fertility. It also has an impact on your metabolism, which is the process by which food is converted into energy.

There are several types of inositol, but the most beneficial to the body are myo-inositol and D-chiro inositol. They aid in the improvement of egg quality, which is one of the most important conceiving factors in women. Increasing D-chiro inositol and myo-inositol levels in the body improves ovarian response, resulting in increased birth rates.

How can you get inositol into your diet?

Getting the right doses of inositol from a healthy PCOS diet is easy – you can find it in many common foods and dietary supplements. The best way to take inositol for optimal results is to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it as your body adjusts.

Myo-inositol supplementation combined with prenatal vitamins, such as vitamin B9 or folic acid, has been shown to improve ovarian functions, resulting in increased ovulation and birth rates. In addition to taking inositol supplements, certain foods contain high myo-inositol levels. To increase your intake of inositol, try adding some of these foods into your diet:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Brown rice
  • Nuts
  • Rockmelon
  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Wheat bran

Effects of inositol vs conventional medicine for PCOS

The benefits of inositol for women with PCOS include improved insulin sensitivity, reduced androgen levels, and increased fertility. Myo-inositol is also thought to improve ovarian functions, which help the body better respond to fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Traditional PCOS medications, such as metformin, may help prevent gestational diabetes in pregnant women with PCOS because they assist the body in blood sugar control. Unfortunately, they are associated with a slew of adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhoea, and, in the worst-case scenario, lactic acidosis.

In comparison, the side effects of myo-inositol are milder. You may feel nauseous, dizzy or gassy for a short period of time. These go away quickly. A systematic review of clinical trials of inositol treatment for pregnant women found no side effects in the myo-inositol group that received up to four grams per day.

Inositol can help to improve the symptoms of PCOS in many women. There has never been a better time to consider incorporating this beneficial compound into your diet. Speak with a holistic healthcare provider who specialises in PCOS management and lifestyle medicine to learn more about the usage and benefits of inositol.

Dr Michelle Woolhouse

Integrative GP and Vively Medical Director

Dr Michelle Woolhouse is an integrative GP, with over 20 years experience treating chronic conditions through lifestyle medicine