Does inositol help with pcos?

Does Inositol Help With PCOS?

A naturally-occurring sugar, Inositol is a hidden gem. Inositol is something that is produced naturally in the body after we consume carbohydrates, but it is also ingested regularly when we eat nuts, legumes, and whole grains. But does inositol help with PCOS?

If you’ve never heard of Inositol, that’s okay. Inositol goes largely undetected as a powerful supplement that can improve the body in small but meaningful ways. Inositol is mostly known for its insulin resistance properties and is often taken by individuals with PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, to improve chances of fertility, and for those who are insulin resistant. 

If you don’t think that any of this applies to you, think again! Inositol can improve cell functioning, ovarian function, and insulin function, which can lead to major improvements in your body’s daily processes and lifestyle. If you have PCOS, then Inositol should definitely be taken as a daily supplement. 

Read on to learn how Inositol can help with PCOS symptoms:

What is PCOS?

PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a syndrome that affects women of reproductive age. All over the world, women are affected by this hormonal disorder. It does not always have profound physiological effects, but, in general, PCOS can cause major disruptions to a woman’s physiology and ovarian cycle. 

PCOS forces the body to produce more androgens. The influx of androgens in the body signals that it needs to ovulate less, which is largely why a woman with PCOS experiences a disrupted ovarian cycle. 

One major symptom of PCOS is “polycystic ovaries,” which is when the ovaries become enlarged and follicles, or fluid-filled sacs cover the eggs. While these aren’t actual cysts, as the name implies, these follicles can build up and lead to increased risks for cancer, ovarian malfunctions, and a lack of ovulation. Other symptoms will include “androgenizing” effects, like thicker, coarser hair (i.e., hirsutism) and acne. 

Many teens and women in their 20s will start to develop PCOS, but it can develop at any time or during the onset of other potential causes like high insulin levels. Symptoms might include:

  • No periods, irregular periods, or periods that have a few months in between
  • Issues getting pregnant (this is due to long and irregular ovulation cycles)
  • Excess (and usually coarse) hair in certain places, like on the face, back, chest, or buttocks
  • Weight gain
  • Thinning hair
  • Oily skin

These conditions might also increase the risk of developing significant health problems later on, such as high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. 

No one really knows what causes PCOS. It might be a genetic condition as someone who has a close relative with PCOS might develop it themselves. Other individuals who are likely to get PCOS are overweight individuals or those with high insulin levels. 

What is Inositol?

A naturally-occurring sugar, Inositol is a vitamin-like supplement that is very common in human diets. While sometimes referred to as the vitamin B8, Inositol is actually not a vitamin and is in fact sugar. Inositol is consumed in nuts, whole grains, and legumes, and is produced after we consume sugar!

Some studies suggest that humans consume around one gram of inositol daily in our diets. Others might ingest Inositol through supplementation. This powerful sugar is actually extremely supporting of insulin function, ovarian function, mental health, and PCOS symptoms. 

Inositol has many different forms (called isomers) but the two most popular forms are Myo-Inositol and D-chiro-inositol. Both are useful for treating the conditions listed above, and D-chiro-inositol is made in the kidneys from Myo-Inositol as a raw ingredient in the ratio the body requires. 

How Does Inositol Help With PCOS?

Inositol is one of the most widely recommended supplements for controlling PCOS symptoms. If you’re not sure that you have PCOS, consider taking this self-assessment

Women who have PCOS might be overweight due to insulin resistance. Therefore, taking an Inositol supplement like Myo-Inositol, which targets the insulin-resistance properties of ovarian tissues, women will see that these cells are better regulated for insulin function and ovarian function. 

One systematic review found that Myo-Inositol significantly impacted the hormonal parameters of PCOS individuals. With improved glucose to insulin ratios, PCOS individuals showed fewer symptoms and less risk of developing insulin-related issues. Another study found that for PCOS individuals with severe hirsutism, hirsutism symptoms were eliminated after taking 4 grams of Myo-Inositol per day for six months. 

PCOS individuals commonly reported weight gain as a symptom. With lowered levels of Inositol and an inability to regulate insulin, this makes sense. The PCOS body’s inability to regulate the natural production of Inositol in the body disrupts insulin resistance properties in the body. Therefore, taking Inositol will directly affect this. 

Taking Inositol for PCOS Symptoms

How you take Inositol will depend on what you are looking to treat. If you only recently found out that you have PCOS because you are seeking to get pregnant, then you will want to focus on therapies that improve your fertility. Take only Myo-Inositol to regulate the ovarian cycle and folic acid to improve cell regeneration inside the body. You’ll want to avoid Metformin and birth control pills, in these instances. 

If you are looking to reduce some of the other symptoms like insulin resistance and hirsutism, then you could consider Inositol. You might see lowered weight due to insulin function and reduced symptoms of excess hair and acne. 

Speak with your doctor to figure out how best to use Inositol to treat your symptoms. 

Inositol Australia to Help PCOS Symptoms

Inositol can help keep your body’s hormones balanced. From regulating insulin, to weight loss, androgen regulation, and ovarian function, Inositol might help you to feel more like yourself, improve self confidence, minimize PCOS symptoms, and improve fertility. 

Inositol can improve PCOS symptoms, such as hirsutism, weight gain, acne, and fertility. If you are trying to get pregnant and you have PCOS, then remember to consult with your doctor about finding the right combination of treatment. Stay away from Metformin and birth control pills in this case. When taking Inositol for PCOS symptoms, be sure to supplement it with lifestyle changes and a PCOS-supported diet.

You can also add a folic acid supplement. If you are looking to take folic acid and Inositol for improved fertility with PCOS, be sure to buy the supplements separately. Folic acid comes widely recommended for fertility as it supports red blood cell formation and fetus spine, brain, and spinal cord developments. Studies suggest, though, that Inositol and folic combined products are mis-labelled. Buy Inositol powder supplement directly through Inositol Australia so you can have the most accurate dose.  

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Resources:

Cleveland Clinic. (2020). Hirsutism (Excessive Hair Growth): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Genazzani, A. D. (2016). Inositol as putative integrative treatment for PCOS. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 33(6), 770-780. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Inositol Australia. (2020). 7 PCOS Symptoms Every Women Should Check. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Inositol Australia. (2020). A Guide to Pre Pregnancy Vitamins and Supplements. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Inositol Australia. (2020). The PCOS Diet – What Should I Eat With PCOS?. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Mayo Clinic. (2020). Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – Symptoms and causes. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Nordio, M., & Proietti, E. (2012). The combined therapy with myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol reduces the risk of metabolic disease in PCOS overweight patients compared to myo-inositol supplementation alone. European Review of Medical Pharmacological Science, 16(5), 575-581. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Papaleo, E., Molgora, M., Quaranta, L., Pellegrino, M., & De Michele, F. (2011). Myo-inositol products in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) treatment: Quality, labeling accuracy, and cost comparison. European Review of Medical Pharmacological Science, 15(2), 165-74. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Unfer, V., Carlomagno, G., Dante, G., & Facchinetti, F. (2012). Effects of myo-inositol in women with PCOS: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Gynecological Endocrinology, 28(7), 509-515. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020. 

Zacchè, M. M., Caputo, L., Filippis, S., Zacchè, G., Dindelli, M., & Ferrari, A. (2009). Efficacy of myo-inositol in the treatment of cutaneous disorders in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Gynecological Endocrinology, 25(8), 508-513. Retrieved Dec 18, 2020.