Inositol is a substance found in natural foods. It is mostly referred to as Vitamin B8, though it is not an actual vitamin. It is a sugar that influences insulin response. Inositol has antioxidant properties that help in fighting the damaging effects on the brain, body tissues, and the circulatory system.
How does inositol work?
Inositol balances certain chemicals in the body that help with mental conditions like panic disorder, obsessive disorder, and depression. It also helps insulin to work well. This will helpsdeal with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome and during pregnancy (PCOS).
What are the types of inositol?
- Myo-inositol; is the most common type of inositol in human tissues. It mostly promotes insulin and follicle-stimulating hormone in the ovary.
- D-chiro-inositol; is mostly formed when Myo-inositol is converted to D-chiro-inositol. It plays an important role in insulin’s action in the muscles and fats. It is proven to improve insulin and androgen.
Health Benefits of Inositol
Improves fertility in women with PCOS
This is a syndrome that occurs when the woman’s body produces high amounts of certain hormones more than usual thus putting them at higher risks of becoming infertile. Since inositol improves insulin sensitivity thus increasing their fertility.
Studies have shown that inositol is beneficial for improving the functions of the ovaries and fertility in women with PCOS.Moreover, the inositol supplements improve menstrual cycle regularity, ovulation, and pregnancy rates in women suffering from PCOS. Therefore, you should consider taking 2-4 grams per day for better results.
Aids in control of sugar levels by increasing insulin level
Insulin hormone is important in your body because it controls blood sugar levels in your body. Insulin resistance is a problem where your body’s ability to respond to insulin is affected by conditions like metabolic syndrome.
Inositol is used to produce molecules that help in the insulin’s action in your cells. Therefore, inositol improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin thus reducing insulin resistance. You should note that inositol’s role in insulin is to signal and improve the body’s sensitivity. This has been seen in individuals with metabolic syndrome, women who are at risk of gestational diabetes and PCOS
Inositol affects processes that the neurotransmitters make i.e., molecules that are responsible for relaying messages to the brain. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, that is affected by inositol has several roles and impacts your behavior and mood.
The studies show that the supplements can improve symptoms accompanied by conditions affecting serotonin and the brain. However, inositol has benefits in only certain types of anxiety disorders. Therefore, the researchers need to do more research to determine these effects.
Reduces symptoms of depression
According to studies, you can reduce symptoms of depression by just taking 6 grams of inositol. However, the results may not improve the symptoms if one does not take medication or to people who do not respond to standard medication.
Other possible benefits
· Helps in weight loss; the inositol supplements can cause weight loss especially in women with PCOS
· Improves blood lipids; you can improve your blood lipids such as cholesterol
· Reduces blood pressure; you can also reduce blood pressure in small amounts in women with PCOS.
Sources of inositol
Inositol is most likely found in different natural types of food. They are found in foods such as cantaloupe, citrus fruits, and several fiber-rich foods like beans, corn, sesame seeds, and wheat bran.
They’re also sold in supplement form then used as a complementary therapy to treat a wide range of medical and mood disorders.
Inositol used in supplements can be used in two ways namely, Myo-inositol (MYO) and D-chiro –inositol (DCI). However, there is no official agreement on the most effective type and dosage. According to the research studies the following have proven to be effective;
- If you have mental health conditions, you are advised to take 12-18 grams of MYO daily for 4-6 weeks.
- For people with polycystic ovary syndrome, they are advised to take 1.2grams of DCI once per day or 2grams of MYO and 200 mcg twice a day for 6 months.
- If you have problems in controlling your type 2 diabetes, you are advised to take 2grams of MYO and 400mcg of folic acid once per day for 6 months.
- You can use it for metabolic syndrome when taking 2 grams of MYO twice every day for a whole year.
Side effects of the inositol
Most people seem to tolerate inositol supplements. However, when you take more than 12 grams of inositol per day, you are likely to experience nausea, difficulty in sleeping, dizziness, headaches, and gas.
There are no enough studies that show women can take up to 4 grams of inositol daily with no adverse effects. However, breasts milk has natural inositol. It is also unclear if inositol supplements can be safe for long-term use. Therefore, it is advised to consult a doctor before taking inositol.Moreover, when you take high amounts of inositol,hexaphosphate you might reduce your body’s ability to absorb essential minerals like zinc, calcium, iron thus triggering a nutritional deficiency even after eating a balanced diet.
On the other hand, D-chiro-inositol acts as an aromatase inhibitor if taken in high quantities. This may lead to negative effects becauseAromatase, an enzyme that is responsible forthe conversion of androgens to estrogen. The aromatase inhibitors prevent the conversion from happening thus leading to higher levels of androgens in your body.
What time does it take inositol to work?
For you to regain your ovulation, you will have to wait for three months. For you to note the improvement, the metabolic issues might take up to 6months of inositol supplementation.
These highlights don’t provide the full spectrum of the required nutrients. You need to balance your hormones, a healthy gut, detox-friendly nutrients, and a good digestive system. Therefore, it is better if you could eat whole foods that contain inositol and other hormone-balancing foods.