Myo-Inositol is the most common form of Inositol. It is made in your body and is found in whole grains, and has a number of important roles in maintaining good health. For example, it is used as a precursor to many compounds that are important for membrane synthesis. It is also important for regulating glucose metabolism and acts as a secondary messenger for glucose uptake.
There is a lot of conflicting information available online about the effects of Myo Inositol. In this article, we explore four scientifically proven benefits of Inositol supplements, which are especially helpful to women with hormone imbalances.
Effects and Benefits
1. Helps to maintain healthy hormone levels for women
Inositol supplements are especially helpful for women who suffer from hormonal issues. Inositol has been studied extensively in women who suffer from the disorder called Polycystic Ovarian System (PCOS).
Scientists have found that supplementing regularly with Inositol is very useful for improving the hormone balance. Women with PCOS tend to have higher than normal androgen levels, but supplementing with Inositol appears to be effective at improving these levels.
For example, one study found that supplementing daily with 4 grams of Myo-Inositol significantly helped improve hormone levels in women with PCOS. In the double-blind study, forty-two women were given either Inositol or placebo.
After the study, the testosterone levels in the group receiving Inositol had dropped by 65%. The scientists also found that the participant’s triglyceride levels had dropped by over 50% and that their blood pressure was lower than before. The conclusion was that Inositol is effective at improving insulin sensitivity, reducing circulating insulin and testosterone levels, and improving metabolism.
2. Helps to maintain a healthy circulatory system
Women with PCOS tend to have problems with their circulatory system
Various studies have proven the effectiveness of Inositol in helping to support a healthy circulatory system. The way that it works is by acting as a ‘secondary messenger’ to help your body take up more glucose from your blood.
When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose. Glucose is used by your cells for energy. When your body detects high levels of glucose, messengers in your blood trigger the membranes of your cells to open up and let the glucose in. However, women with PCOS and other hormone disorders have problems because their body doesn’t react properly to the primary messenger – insulin.
This causes all kinds of problems, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, higher levels of cholesterol (if you consume meat), weight gain, and high triglyceride levels. These issues can trigger diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Luckily, scientists have found that Inositol acts as a powerful “secondary messenger” and helps to keep the body in check.
3. Helps to reduce symptoms of stress and boosts mood
Inositol is a powerful stress-reducing and mood-boosting supplement, especially at high doses. Many people who take Inositol because of hormonal issues often report feeling a noticeable improvement in their daily mood. This is because Inositol has a complex effect on the serotonin levels in your brain.
Serotonin is an important molecule in your brain and is often crudely thought of as the ‘happiness molecule’. Many antidepressants, as well as some recreational drugs, work by preventing your brain from breaking down excess serotonin.
Inositol’s powerful effects on your brain’s serotonin levels have prompted scientists to test its efficacy on a variety of psychological disorders. Inositol supplements have been researched as potential treatments for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and OCD. It appears to be especially useful for people with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and OCD.
Furthermore, in 2001 a study was conducted into the effects of Inositol supplements on panic disorder. In the study, scientists compared the effects of Inositol to the effects of a commonly prescribed medication. The results showed that 18 grams of Inositol per day reduced the number of panic attack episodes by an average of 4.0, while the comparison medication only by 2.4. Inositol had fewer side effects and helped to reduce stress.
4. May help to improve female fertility
Myo-Inositol has been shown to help improve fertility in women with PCOS. Women with hormone disorders often struggle with infertility, as a result of increased androgen levels and hormone imbalance. A growing number of studies indicate that even very small doses of Inositol are effective at improving fertility for women with hormone disorders.
For example, some very interesting results were found by scientists in 2010. The scientists were studying the potential effects of Inositol on fertility in women with PCOS.
One hundred and twenty patients with PCOS were either treated with 4 grams of Inositol/day or a first-line prescription medication for PCOS. As a plan-B, if women did not fall pregnant after one month of treatment, r-FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) was added to the dose.
The results showed that 50% of patients treated with the medication resumed normal ovulation, with just over 18% obtaining pregnancy. After adding FSH, a further 26% of the women fell pregnant.
For the group that was treated with Inositol, 65% immediately resumed normal ovulation, and 30% of them fell pregnant. After adding FSH, a further 28% of the women obtained pregnancy.
Another recent study by Lisi et al (2012), indicated that Myo-Inositol treatment may be effective at improving fertility, even in women who are not suffering from hormonal disorders.
The recommended dosage for Inositol varies depending on the type of benefit that you are trying to get out of it.
For improving issues relating to hormone disorders, like maintaining a healthy circulatory system and improving fertility, 200mg – 4000mg is the recommended dose range. This is a very large variety of dose sizes, but unfortunately the recommended daily allowance for Inositol has not yet been established. A higher dose (closer to 4000mg / day), before breakfast, appears to be most effective.
People tend use much higher doses of Inositol for reducing stress and boosting their mood (up to 18 grams / day).
Side Effects and Warnings
One of the best things about taking an Inositol supplement is that you don’t have to worry about experiencing side effects. Studies have found that Inositol is very well-tolerated and without reported adverse effects in doses as high as 12 grams per day.
Even at higher doses of up to 30 grams per day, researchers have found that the only reported adverse effects are some gastrointestinal discomfort.
In conclusion, Inositol is a fantastic supplement for promoting good health! You can try Inositol for helping to promote healthy hormone levels, to maintain a healthy circulatory system, and for reducing stress and boosting your mood.
Inositol supplements are especially beneficial for women with hormone disorders like PCOS. Most of the research into the effects of Inositol supplements comes from studies on women with PCOS. The forth benefit of Inositol is especially important for women as research has indicated that it may improve fertility, even in otherwise healthy women.
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