image bio

Enjoy 15% off your first month of any new subscription with code MOTHEREARTH. Shop Now.

Login / Sign Up up to see rewards balance

0 Item(s) in the shopping cart
Home > Learn > Nutrition > >Top 7 Inositol Benefits

Top 7 Inositol Benefits

Nov 09, 21 7 min

Inositol is suggested to be a helpful dietary supplement for PCOS patients, mental health, periods, and more. Let’s break down the facts about this naturally occurring substance.

By fertility expert and OBGYN Dr. Kenosha Gleaton

True or false: there’s one dietary supplement that has shown improvements in mental health, ovulatory function, PCOS, fertility, and more… true! Inositol is a carbohydrate that interacts strongly with hormones and neurotransmitters in the body. It can help support ovarian health and cycle regularity. More research is needed, but here’s what we know so far.

What is inositol?

Inositol is a naturally occurring, vitamin-like carbohydrate that’s found in your body. It’s most abundant in the brain and tissues and has a large effect on hormones and other neurotransmitters.

Inositol treatment is frequently used for metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), as well as other medical and mental conditions. There are many forms of inositol, but the two most common are Myo-inositol (MI) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI).

Inositol benefits

#1 Inositol and periods: regulate cycles and improve function

Inositol has been shown to help regulate menstrual cycles and improve ovulatory function. A randomized, double-blind clinical trial found a beneficial effect of Myo-Inositol in improving function in women with oligomenorrhea (aka infrequent menstrual periods). The study also found that women who took Myo-inositol ovulated more frequently than those in the placebo group.

#2 Inositol and PCOS: improve ovarian function

The same clinical trial discovered that Myo-Inositol improves ovarian function in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts). The use of inositol for hormonal balance and improving insulin resistance has also been proven effective. This is helpful for those with PCOS, as insulin resistance is found in 30-40% of patients. While using inositol treatment to manage PCOS symptoms remains experimental, many studies suggest inositol can decrease insulin resistance, improve ovarian function, and reduce androgen levels.

#3 Inositol and egg quality: improve embryo and oocyte quality

There have been established antioxidant and growth-promoting factors of MI. Some studies have shown improved embryo and oocyte quality as well as improved overall ovulary function as a result of MI supplementation. The ovary also uses high levels of MI to help carry out physiological activities and is thought to increase insulin sensitivity of the ovary to potentially improve egg quality.

When it comes to fertility and checking your egg quality, it can be especially challenging when you’re TTC. While we always recommend talking with your healthcare provider you can also use an at-home fertility test to gain insight on your hormones and how they’re impacting your reproductive health.

Natalist call to action featuring Inositol Plus Supplement with coupon code

#4 Inositol and mental health: relief for depression 

Besides hormonal and fertility health benefits, inositol is also being studied for potential benefits for mental health, including anxiety and depression. Only small studies have been done to research inositol for anxiety and depression but so far, it has been linked to reduced depression, hostility, tension, and fatigue. A double-blind controlled trial studying the role of inositol in psychiatry found that MI supplementation may have therapeutic effects for some mental illnesses, but not all. Specifically, illnesses related to serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors, such as depression, panic, and OCD.

#5 Inositol and gestational diabetes: reduce the risk of GDM

As previously mentioned, inositol supplements can be useful for glucose homeostasis. Gestational diabetes can be difficult to treat with insulin and other oral medications due to side effects, therefore, more research is being focused on inositol supplementation. Current evidence shows that inositol supplements may help reduce the risk of GDM among overweight pregnant women, although more studies are needed to evaluate its effectiveness.

#6 Inositol and blood sugar levels: improve insulin function

Inositol is also being studied to understand how it may help with blood sugar control and aid in insulin sensitivity. An Inositol supplement shows positive effects on insulin function during pregnancy and beyond. Combined MI and DCI supplementation impacts neurotransmitters in the body and has been shown to improve insulin levels and reduce blood glucose rise. A pilot study concluded that inositol supplementation is an effective and safe strategy for improving glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. .

#7 Inositol and cholesterol: reduce triglycerides, total, and LDL-cholesterol

A systematic review found that inositol supplementation may result in a reduction of triglycerides, total, and LDL-cholesterol (low density) levels, but does not affect HDL-cholesterol (high density) levels. More research is still needed to examine the full effect of inositol supplementation on lipid profiles in patients with metabolic diseases.

What foods include inositol?

Since inositol is naturally occurring, it can be found in certain food we eat. Inositol is present in fruits, beans, grains, and nuts, specifically corn, cantaloupe, citrus, sesame seeds, and wheat bran. Fresh vegetables and fruits contain more Myo-inositol than frozen, canned, or salt-free products.

Inositol supplementation

As mentioned earlier, inositol can also be found in supplement form. It’s important to note that there are actually nine different types, or isomers, of inositol. The main difference between isomers of inositol is in the function of the various compounds. While there isn’t a “best” form of inositol, there are different functions, and getting the most out of supplementation means determining what ratio of MI: DCI will be most effective for you.

When mimicking inositol function for reproductive processes, clinical evidence has demonstrated that a 40:1 ratio between MI and DCI is the optimal combination for the most effective results.

Risks of inositol supplementation

When it comes to any type of supplement, it’s important to make notes of some possible risks. All studies mentioned found little to no negative side effects of inositol and there are no known negative interactions with other supplements or medications. Like most medications, there is a risk of an upset stomach. While inositol supplementation shows many benefits, it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for any current medications without talking to your doctor first.

Take-aways

  • Inositol is a naturally occurring substance that may be useful for treating a wide range of conditions and symptoms, including PCOS, irregular menstrual cycles, gestational diabetes, and more.
  • Inositol works by interacting with hormones and neurotransmitters in the body.
  • There are nine different types of inositol, but the most common and effective type is a 40:1 ratio of myo-inositol (MI) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI).
  • Inositol has been shown to improve ovulatory function, glucose function, insulin resistance, and egg quality, and reduce depression, hostility, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol.
  • Inositol can be found naturally in citrus fruits, cantaloupe, grains, and nuts. You can also find inositol supplements in our Cycle Support Bundle, which contains menstrual cycle supplements and ovulation tests to help you on your TTC journey.

Sources:

  1. Regidor PA, Schindler AE, Lesoine B, Druckman R. Management of women with PCOS using myo-inositol and folic acid. New clinical data and review of the literature. Hormone molecular biology and clinical investigation. 2018;34(2):/j/hmbci.2018.34.issue2/hmbci2017-0067/hmbci2017-0067.xml. doi:https://doi.org/10.1515/hmbci-2017-0067
  2. Pintaudi B, Di Vieste G, Bonomo M. The Effectiveness of Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro Inositol Treatment in Type 2 Diabetes. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2016;2016:1-5. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9132052
  3. Gerli S, Mignosa M, Di Renzo GC. Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2003;7(6):151-159. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15206484
  4. Sacchinelli A, Venturella R, Lico D, et al. The Efficacy of Inositol and N-Acetyl Cysteine Administration (Ovaric HP) in Improving the Ovarian Function in Infertile Women with PCOS with or without Insulin Resistance. Obstetrics and Gynecology International. 2014;2014:1-5. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/141020
  5. Chhetri DR. Myo-Inositol and Its Derivatives: Their Emerging Role in the Treatment of Human Diseases. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2019;10. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.01172
  6. Pacchiarotti A, Carlomagno G, Antonini G, Pacchiarotti A. Effect of myo-inositol and melatonin versus myo-inositol, in a randomized controlled trial, for improving in vitrofertilization of patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Gynecological Endocrinology. 2015;32(1):69-73. doi:https://doi.org/10.3109/09513590.2015.1101444
  7. Roseff S, Montenegro M. Inositol Treatment for PCOS Should Be Science-Based and Not Arbitrary. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2020;2020. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/6461254
  8. Inositol. Mental Health America. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://www.mhanational.org/inositol
  9. Levine J. Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry. European Neuropsychopharmacology: The Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 1997;7(2):147-155. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0924-977x(97)00409-4
  10. Tahir F, Majid Z. Inositol Supplementation in the Prevention of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Cureus. Published online September 16, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.5671
  11. Bevilacqua A, Bizzarri M. Inositols in Insulin Signaling and Glucose Metabolism. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2018;2018:1-8. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1968450
  12. Tabrizi R, Ostadmohammadi V, Lankarani KB, et al. The effects of inositol supplementation on lipid profiles among patients with metabolic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2018;17(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12944-018-0779-4
  13. Carlomagno G, Unfer V. Inositol safety: clinical evidences. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2011;15(8):931-936. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21845803/

 

Shop Products

Bestseller
sticker bestseller

Prenatal Daily Packets

Vegan prenatal daily packets

$60

Natalist Favorite
Subscribe & Save $2.00 sticker favorite

The Lube

Bestselling fertility-friendly lubricant

$23

Bestseller
sticker bestseller

Prenatal Gummies

Evidence-backed & delicious prenatal gummies

$35

Bestseller
sticker bestseller

Early Pregnancy Test Strips

As low as $0.96 per test strip

$74 $16

Bestseller
sticker bestseller

Early Pregnancy Test Strips

As low as $0.96 per test strip

$74 $16

Bestseller
sticker save

The Test Strip Pack

Bundle & save with our earth-friendlier test strips

$37

Natalist Favorite
sticker favorite

Ovulation Test Kit

As low as $0.76 per strip

$25

sticker bestseller

Pregnancy Tests (4-Count)

As low as $3.20 per test

$16

sticker save

Cycle Support Bundle

Bundle & save on cycle regularity support‡

$85 $75

Natalist Favorite
sticker favorite

TTC Gummy Bundle

Prenatal gummies for TTC (trying to conceive)

$100 $90

Bestseller
sticker save

The Test Strip Pack

Bundle & save with our earth-friendlier test strips

$37

sticker save

Pregnancy Gift Basket

Gift set for a mom-to-be

$110 $99