Inositol: What You Need to Know About It

By Chelsea Pineiro

Jan 05
Inositol: What You Need to Know About It

What is inositol and why do you need it?

Ladies, this one is geared towards you. Anyone can use it, but I’m going to let you know why those who identify as female will benefit a lot more from Myo-Inositol (Myo) and how this hormone balancer is taking the health world by storm! Previously thought of as Vitamin B8, this naturally occurring substance is actually not a vitamin at all. Classified as an isomer, inositol can appear in different forms, each of which functions similarly, but have slight variations to their makeup. Myo- and D-Chiro are the most common forms of Inositol.

Who should use Inositol? 

Technically, this product can be used by men and women, and everyone in between or outside that range. Because inositol is often marketed toward treating PCOS, it is common to see it only sold to Women. However, because all cells need Myo to survive, it’s clear that anyone can use it. It affects the structure of your cells, fat burning and storage, energy use, brain function, and your stress response. In fact, it affects every part of your being, so any human being can use it. It just depends on what you want to improve or reduce by using it!

Myo and D-Chiro inositol are the most abundant inositols. Myo is geared more toward the ovaries and making hormones that affect fertility and ovulation, whereas D-Chiro acts as an antioxidant and improving PCOS and hormonal imbalance in women*. In general, it is important to have balanced levels of Myo, as low levels of this isomer are linked to infertility, anxiety, and metabolic or hormonal problems. Be careful not to take too much either. Too much of a good thing can cause more damage than good.

Foods 

Inositol can be naturally found in everyday foods like fruits, grains, nuts, and beans. High levels of it can be found in whole grains and citrus fruits. Because this isomer is naturally occurring in our bodies and we can get it from food, supplementing is not always necessary, but for those who need Myo, supplementing can do wonders for their physical and mental well-being.

mixed beans in different bags at a market

Benefits

Fertility

Not only is inositol said to improve fertility, meaning higher egg quantity, but also egg quality. A 2016 study in the International Journal of Endocrinology shows that combining Myo and melatonin can increase the success of medical fertility treatments. Myo is said to enhance insulin sensitivity of the ovary, which encourages better egg quality.

holding a positive pregnancy test

Restores insulin sensitivity

For diabetics, increased urinary excretion of inositol metabolites is common. Because of this, it’s great to supplement with Inositol – look for one that includes D-Chiro! 

finger prick for diabetes blood sugar check
Reduces anxiety

Inositol has anxiolytic and anti-panic effects. This includes being able to calm panic disorders and binge eating. It works by supporting the brain and the liver and it is involved in mood regulation and nerve signaling. Keep in mind, if you are already on an SSRI, it is not recommended to take it.

man w anxiety resting head on table

Reduces depression 

High levels of Myo in the brain act as an energy charge to your body’s cells. Although research is limited, Myo is said to help those with depression*. One study showed that 6,000 mg per day led to an improvement in 90% of depressed participants. In a follow-up study, patients with manic depression who were treated with inositol had no manic episodes.

Reduces symptoms of PCOS:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) occurs in women whose cellular processes that product and use inositol fail to function correctly. Women with PCOS may have a defect in the body’s ability to convert Myo into D-Chiro, which contributes to insulin resistance and infertility. It helps to increase progesterone, lowers testosterone levels, improves/induces ovulation.

Not just for women

Although we’ve already discussed fertility, this article was clearly geared toward women specifically. It turns out that inositol has also been studied in men and has been proven effective in improving the sperm mitochondrial function, meaning sperm motility is greater in men with idiopathic infertility taking inositol supplementation. 

man and woman sitting - only shows bottom half
Daily dose

Safe to ingest, with mild side effects if taking a high dose, such as gastrointestinal distress. If you are looking to try Myo for the first time, starting at a lower dose is always a safe bet. Anywhere from 2-4g is considered a low dose and is a sufficient amount for fertility and insulin-sensitizing effects. If you’ve been instructed to take a higher dose, 12-18g is required in order to achieve neurological effects. Please ensure that you’ve spoken to a qualified physician before adding Myo- and D-Chiro Inositol to your daily routine. 

For those looking to try Myo-Inositol for PCOS, it is important to give the supplement time to work. Remember, it takes at least 3 months for an egg to be developed in the ovary, so you need to try it out for at least 3 months before you can see maximum benefits. Let us know if you’ve tried Myo- and D-Chiro Inositol before and how it has affected your life!

References:

https://examine.com/supplements/inositol/

https://myo-inositol.com/what-is-myo-inositol/

https://www.europeanreview.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/030-035-Myoinositol-and-sperm-motility.pdf

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29309199/

https://accp1.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcph.362

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25722115/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28724176/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/inositol/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7726322/

https://natural-fertility-info.com/how-myo-inositol-promotes-egg-quality-follicle-development.html


Chelsea Pineiro

chelsea

Chelsea has been active most of her life, which led her to become a Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor for the past 7 years. Health and Fitness are not solely dependent on movement, though, and with that understanding, she addresses her client’s other needs, such as diet, mindfulness, and stress management.

When she is not training clients or teaching Yoga, she is finding new activities that keep her mind and body active, such as rock climbing, hiking, listening to podcasts, or playing Board Games with friends. She is constantly working towards: Finding natural solutions to live as long as possible, creating inclusive Yoga for all body types, and aiming to find mindfulness is everything she does.

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