Inositol can also be found in various foods, such as fruits, legumes, cereals, and nuts. Your body can even make inositol through dietary carbohydrates. Inositol is a form of sugar that helps give cells their shape. In addition to being a supplement on the market for treating medical conditions like metabolic and mental disorders, inositol is also a nutrient found in many foods. Inositol is a folk remedy for anxiety, tension and fatigue. Plus, it is also known to help with many other issues. The health community is interested in what inositol is, how it works, and how it can improve your health.
Inositol: An Overview
Inositol is a substance that is essential for cellular development in the body. It is also known as myo-inositol, D-chiro-inositol, or hexaphosphate (IP6). It belongs to the category of pseudovitamins. Depletion of pseudovitamins like inositol is not known to cause any health disorders. Because inositol is not a vitamin, most people do not think it is important.
Inositol is a sugar that has several vital functions. Furthermore, It is involved in numerous biological processes, It is a significant element of cell membranes, and It performs a structural role in the body cell. It is also involved in numerous biological processes. Inositol also affects insulin activity, which regulates blood sugar levels. It also impacts chemicals in the brain that act as messengers, like serotonin and dopamine. Inositol also has antioxidant qualities that protect the brain, cardiovascular system, and other body tissues from free radical damage.
How Does Inositol Work?
In higher doses, inositol has been shown to improve insulin resistance and alleviate symptoms of PCOS. What is often the cause of PCOS? For many people, it is insulin resistance, but there are some people with PCOS who don’t have this resistance.
Myo-inositol and D-chiro inositol have properties that act similar to insulin, mimicking its behavior. Myo- and D-chiro inositol have been studied for their ability to improve insulin sensitivity and are often recommended for women with PCOS to reduce symptoms.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas. It helps lower blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body either does not respond well to insulin or does not produce enough of it.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance. Some signs of insulin resistance include:
- A waist circumference of >35 inches in women or >40 inches in men.
- Dark, velvety patches of skin (acanthosis nigricans).
- Extreme thirst or hunger.
- Feeling hungry even after a meal.
- Increased or frequent urination.
- Tingling sensations in hands or feet.
- Feeling more tired than usual.
- Frequent infections.
- High blood sugar or insulin levels in blood work.
Inositol has benefits for PCOS by impacting the hormone levels that are associated with the condition. This medication can also help women who don’t ovulate regularly to induce ovulation. This section will cover the ways in which PCOS specifically impacts hormone levels.
Health Benefits of Inositol
1. PCOS Reversal
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is an endocrinal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It causes menstrual irregularities and infertility, hair fall, acne, etc. In addition, PCOS can cause weight gain, excessive blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Supplements of inositol, especially when taken with folic acid, can help alleviate symptoms associated with PCOS. Obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome can be improved by taking inositol, which will lower triglyceride and testosterone levels, moderately lower blood pressure, and enhance ovulation.
Inositol assists several hormones in women with PCOS to function more effectively. It affects the hormones that are responsible for ovulation in a positive way, making it more likely for the ovaries to function properly.
2. Inositol Improves Mental Health
Inositol helps to improve mental health by increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine. These are the ‘feel-good’ hormones present in our bodies.
People with panic disorder often experience panic attacks, which are sudden episodes of intense fear. The symptoms of an anxiety attack include an accelerated heartbeat, breathlessness, dizziness, sweating, and a numbing sensation in the hands. As studies have shown, taking inositol can help reduce the frequency of panic attacks.
The most commonly used long-term treatment for bipolar affective disorders is lithium carbonate. However, it triggers psoriasis. According to research, taking inositol supplements can help lessen the symptoms of psoriasis induced by lithium. Some bipolar drugs can cause inositol depletion, which is when the levels of inositol in the body are reduced. So, it needs to be recharged in the body. Inositol supplements are beneficial for people undergoing treatment for bipolar mood disorder.
3. Improves Metabolic Syndrome
Inositol and its derivatives play a role in several physiological processes, such as metabolism, according to studies. Inositol chemicals help regulate the actions of multiple hormones and metabolic pathways to prevent metabolic syndrome. If there is a lack of inositol, it can lead to problems with metabolism and hormones. Myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol are both involved in glycemic and lipid metabolism. They also help improve metabolism by regulating insulin levels and scavenging free radicals.
Diabetes is a common metabolic condition. Inositols may help improve insulin sensitivity and manage insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes mellitus. D-chiro-inositol helps improve diabetes by increasing the activity of proteins that control blood sugar levels, making insulin work more effectively.
4. Prevents Hair Fall
Inositol helps with hair growth. It is a chemical present in the body that can help to reduce DHT (the cause of hair loss) and promote healthy hair follicles and their development. Inositol is a supplement that helps to prevent hair loss and thinning. Inositol has also been shown to reduce hair loss by lowering testosterone levels and promoting healthy hormone production. Inositol can be more beneficial than other hair care substances when combined with a multivitamin supplement. When taken together, choline and inositol are very effective at stopping hair loss. There are different forms of inositol, but the best kind to take for hair loss is in supplement form.
5. Prevents Acne
Acne is a severe inflammation of the skin that occurs when the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, clogging the hair follicles. Sebum is an oily material that is produced by the sebaceous glands. An oversupply of eggs can be the result of increased hormonal stimulation. Myo-inositol is a chemical found in our bodies that affects hormones such as insulin, FSH, and TSH. It controls sebum production and acne formation. According to studies, inositol can help to prevent and cure acne by targeting the pathophysiological pathways that cause the condition.
6. Reduces Blood Glucose Levels
If your blood sugar levels are high, it may be a sign that your body is resistant to insulin. This can lead to type 2 diabetes. If you have insulin-resistant PCOS, you could have high fasting blood sugar, an abnormal reading after an oral glucose tolerance test, high random blood sugar, or high hemoglobin A1c.
Inositol supplements can help to lower blood sugar levels by making the body more sensitive to insulin, regardless of how much a person weighs. It is possible that inositol could help to lower blood sugar levels in those who are both lean and overweight.
Metformin is a popular drug that is used to lower blood sugar levels. The study found that myo-inositol and metformin had similar positive effects on insulin levels, fasting blood sugar, and hormone levels associated with PCOS.
7. Reduces Insulin Levels
High insulin levels are a sign of insulin resistance. As your body becomes less responsive to insulin, your pancreas will produce more insulin to help lower high blood sugar levels. People who are insulin resistant have higher insulin levels.
in participants with PCOS. A review of 20 randomized control trials showed that inositol supplementation reduces fasting insulin levels and improves glucose tolerance in participants with PCOS.
8. Might Lower Your Risk of Diabetes
If your blood glucose levels are high due to insulin resistance, you are at risk for prediabetes (borderline diabetes) and type 2 diabetes. If you take inositol regularly, it can help lower your blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c levels, which means your glucose metabolism is getting better.
If you take inositol, your blood sugar levels might improve to the point where you wouldn’t need to take medication for diabetes.
Inositol, an insulin-sensitizing agent, can improve glucose metabolism and the metabolic profiles of women with PCOS.
9. Boosts Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)
Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a type of hormone that regulates the amount of testosterone that can be used by the body. Low levels of SHBG are associated with increased metabolic abnormalities, such as insulin resistance and high blood lipid levels (9).
Myo-inositol can improve symptoms associated with PCOS when taken for at least 24 weeks, as it causes a significant increase in SHBG.
Who Might Benefit from a Myo-Inositol Supplement?
There are two main types of people who might benefit from a myo-inositol supplement:
1. Women with PCOS
PCOS can be diagnosed if the patient meets two or more of the following three conditions: high androgen levels, lack or absence of ovulation, and the presence of ovarian cysts, as seen on an ultrasound.
Compared to other health conditions, diagnosing PCOS is not as straightforward. Before diagnosing you with PCOS, your healthcare provider will need to rule out any other potential causes of your symptoms.
Studies show that inositol is effective at treating PCOS symptoms in both lean women and those considered overweight or obese, as well as people with and without insulin resistance.
Although inositol has a low risk of causing side effects, it is still a good idea to try it if you have PCOS.
2. Those with Elevated Blood Sugar Levels (Such as Prediabetes)
If you have high blood sugar levels and don’t want to take pharmaceuticals, inositol is a good option to try. Inositol can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, resulting in improved blood sugar and insulin levels.
If you aren’t experiencing a noticeable change in your blood sugar levels after several months of using inositol, you might want to consider using another treatment method to improve glucose metabolism.
Before taking inositol as a type 2 diabetes treatment, speak with your healthcare provider to see if it is right for you.
How Often Should I Take Inositol?
Inositol can be supplemented in several different ways. To get the health benefits of inositol, you should take my-inositol, D-chiro-inositol, or a mix of both. The ratio is usually 40 parts myo-inositol for every one part of D-chiro-inositol.
Inositol is available in capsule and powder form. The powder has little flavor and can be combined with different liquids, like water or juice.
Inositol can be taken as frequently as recommended by the supplement label. A popular inositol supplement with a 40:1 ratio suggests taking 2,000 milligrams of myo-inositol and 50 milligrams of D-chiro-inositol every day.
The suggested dosage for inositol in capsule form is 2,000 milligrams of myo-inositol and 50 milligrams of D-chiro-inositol.
Inositol is generally well-tolerated. However, it might cause gastrointestinal symptoms in some people.
Inositol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol that can cause flatulence and nausea in some people. Other side effects that could come from taking inositol are feeling dizzy, tired, and having a headache.
If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to reduce the recommended dose or take the total dose in two doses. Eating food with inositol might also help reduce any possible side effects.
The therapeutic doses of the medicine range from 6-18 grams per day for people with behavioral or neurological conditions. Manufacturers recommend the following dosages for supporting certain conditions:
Metabolic syndrome (MS): 2 grams twice every day.
The recommended dosage for psoriasis caused by lithium is up to 6 grams per day.
The maximum recommended amount of anxiety and panic relief per day is 12 grams.
Potential Drug Interactions and Side Effects of Inositol
Most people tolerate inositol pills well. Mild side effects can occur when taking as little as 12 grams of the drug per day. The following are some symptoms: nausea, bloating, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and sleeplessness. Pregnant women can take up to 4 g of inositol each day without any adverse effects. While inositol hexaphosphate is beneficial in small doses, large doses actually hinder the body’s ability to absorb important minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc, resulting in a deficiency of these nutrients even when consuming a healthy diet. Furthermore, people who are exposed to high doses of the substance may experience mild stomach upset or gastrointestinal side effects. Before using inositol, consult your doctor.
Inositol has no documented interactions with other FDA-approved medications. This means that inositol supplements will not have any negative impact when taken with other drugs or supplements. There is no significant concern about using the drug during lactation and child use.
Inositol is neither an official vitamin nor a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol. There are nine different types of inositols, with myo-inositol being the most common. Inositol can help people with anxiety attacks, depression, bipolar disorder, polycystic ovarian syndrome, metabolic disorders, and diabetes. A daily dosage of up to 18 grams is safe for most individuals and has only a few adverse effects, such as drowsiness and upset stomach. However, the amount of inositol you should take depends on the reason you are taking it. People who take inositol supplements may experience more benefits than those who get inositol from their diet alone. This is because supplements provide a higher concentration of inositol. However, talk to your doctor before using inositol supplements.