Myoinositol is a naturally occurring substance produced in the human body that belongs to the vitamin B complex group. In recent years there has been a growing appreciation of the benefits of myoinositol for women with PCOS. However, myoinositol can help with a vast array of other health conditions.
In this post, we will explore the various ways in which myoinositol can fix or optimize your health, before looking at the most effective ways in which you can get more of this health-promoting supplement into your body.
- Myoinositol Snapshot
- Health Benefits of Myoinositol
- 1) Myoinositol Treats Diabetes and its Complications
- 2) Myo-inositol Improves the Outcome of PCOS
- 3) Myo-inositol Prevents Metabolic Syndrome
- 4) Myo-inositol Aids in Weight Loss
- 5) Myoinositol Protects the Brain
- 6) Inositol Increases Serotonin and GABA and May Promote Sleep
- 7) Myoinositol is a Natural Remedy for Depression and Anxiety Disorders
- 8) Myoinositol May Alleviate Psychiatric Disorders
- 9) Myoinositol Ameliorates Eating Disorders
- 10) Myoinositol Prevents Cancer
- 11) Myoinositol Increases Fertility Rate
- 12) Myoinositol Protects the Lungs
- 13) Myoinositol May Prevent Heart Disease
- 14) Myoinositol Helps with Prenatal Development
- 15) Inositol Lowers Inflammation
- 16) Myoinositol has Antioxidant Properties
- 17) Inositol May Prolong Lifespan
- 18) Myoinositol Mitigates Side Effects of Lithium
- 19) Myoinositol Boosts Skin Health
- Inositol and Cannabinoid Synthesis
- Caution and Side Effects
- Buy Myoinositol
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
Myo-inositol (mI), the most common form of inositol, is a sugar alcohol found in nearly all plants and animals (R).
As an important component of cell membranes , myoinositol is crucial for maintaining the normal number of protein particles (R).
Myo-inositol also has key roles in various biological processes, including cell volume regulation, cell signaling (in phosphoinositide-mediated processes), neuronal metabolism, phospholipid production, and energy consumption (R,R2,R3,R4,R5).
- Great antioxidant
- Helps treat diabetes
- Protects the brain
- Treats depression and anxiety disorders
- Increases fertility rate
- May interact with blood pressure medication
- May interact with blood sugar medication
- Can cause nerve damage from diabetes
- Side effects include nausea and tiredness
- Can cause digestive problems
Health Benefits of Myoinositol
1) Myoinositol Treats Diabetes and its Complications
When taken orally, myoinositol stimulates glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells, thereby decreasing blood sugar levels (by enhancing GLUT4 mobility) (R).
Myo-inositol also reduces urine glucose concentrations (over a period of 24 hours) in obese insulin resistant monkeys, indicating that it may decrease high blood sugar levels after eating in people who are insulin resistant (R).
Urine levels of myoinositol are commonly used as a diagnostic marker for diabetes (R).
Myo-inositol supplementation can prevent and reduce the rate of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (diabetes during pregnancy), especially in overweight or obese pregnant women, by 50%. It can also improve insulin resistance in people with gestational diabetes (R, R2).
2) Myo-inositol Improves the Outcome of PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal disorders in women. The majority of women with PCOS have ovulation problems, insulin resistance, and abnormal male hormone levels (R).
In one study, women with PCOS who took myoinositol for three months had their blood luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and insulin levels significantly reduced. After six months, common PCOS symptoms (hirsutism and acne) were eliminated (R).
3) Myo-inositol Prevents Metabolic Syndrome
Myoinositol supplementation exhibits similar efficacy in postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome (R).
4) Myo-inositol Aids in Weight Loss
Women with PCOS often have difficulty losing weight. Many studies show that supplemental myoinositol can significantly reduce body mass and leptin (appetite control hormone) levels in these women (R,R2).
These effects are also seen in obese women (R).
5) Myoinositol Protects the Brain
Myoinositol is found in high concentrations in the brain where it influences brain plasticity and signal transmission (R).
Fluctuations in myoinositol levels can signal the beginning of a cognitive decline in conditions that increase inflammation in nervous tissue and immune activation, such as dementia and HIV (R).
Low levels of inositol are also present in people with some brain disorders, anorexia, and depression (R).
Chronic low blood sodium levels can cause myelinolysis (destruction of myelin), a brain disorder. Myoinositol can normalize blood sodium levels, thereby increasing survival rates and decreasing behavioral abnormalities in rats (R).
In humans, elevation of inositol levels is associated with limiting the development of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a disease that attacks the white matter of the brain (R).
Variations in myoinositol levels can indicate the location of a seizure and areas of seizure spread. Monitoring levels of inositol in various of parts of the brain can help prevent a second seizure, especially in people with mild seizure disorders (R).
Myoinositol can also help overcome the toxic effects of metabolites (from the liver) that cross the blood brain barrier (R).
6) Inositol Increases Serotonin and GABA and May Promote Sleep
Several studies have proposed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor like-role for myoinositol, likely due to the fact that myoinositol is the second messenger of serotonin (R).
Myoinositol enhances serotonin receptor sensitivity (R).
Increasing serotonin levels can stimulate γ-Amino-butyric acid (GABA) release in certain regions of the brain (R).
Inositol can be taken with SSRI’s because of its ability to prevent serotonin syndrome (i.e., serotonin toxicity) (R).
7) Myoinositol is a Natural Remedy for Depression and Anxiety Disorders
Low levels of inositol are present in people with depression (R).
Supplementation can help increase those levels and treat depression in adult patients (R).
Daily inositol supplementation in children helped relieve symptoms of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (R).
Inositol also helped treat anxiety in children with bipolar disorder, and may be a more superior alternative to SSRIs because it is natural and well tolerated (R).
High doses of myoinositol can reduce panic attack and anxiety symptoms in adult patients (R).
It can also diminish symptoms of depression, anxiety, and mood swings in women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)(a more severe form of PMS) (R).
8) Myoinositol May Alleviate Psychiatric Disorders
Research indicates that inositol may be a promising treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. One study found that inositol markedly reduced symptoms of OCD without side effects (R).
However, inositol therapy is generally not effective in patients who are not responsive to SSRIs (R).
9) Myoinositol Ameliorates Eating Disorders
High doses of inositol significantly reduced common symptoms associated with bulimia (depression, anxiety, binge eating and purging) in patients with bulima nervosa (R).
10) Myoinositol Prevents Cancer
Myoinositol has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing properties (R).
Myoinositol can prevent cancer and stop the progression of tumors. It decreases cell replication by stopping the cell cycle (R).
A combination of carotenoids and myoinositol was found to prevent liver tumor development in patients with long-term viral hepatitis and cirrhosis (R).
Myoinositol also reduced the development of lung tumors in mice and rabbits that were exposed to tobacco smoke (R).
Comparable effects were seen in the lungs of heavy smokers (R).
11) Myoinositol Increases Fertility Rate
Myoinositol helps balance reproductive hormone levels in people with unexplained fertility (R).
In male patients with unexplained infertility, daily supplementation of myoinositol increased sperm count and fertility rate (R).
Supplementation also increased sperm motility and the mitochondrial function of sperm in people with low sperm count (R).
Diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction in men. A combination of myoinositol and folic acid may treat erectile dysfunction in men with type 2 diabetes (R).
Myoinositol levels are unbalanced in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder. Supplementation can be an effective treatment for women who have insulin resistance and PCOS and help with fertility rates (R).
12) Myoinositol Protects the Lungs
Myoinositol helps initiate the process of lung maturation (R).
It also facilitates lung healing and decreases lesions in the lungs of heavy smokers (R).
13) Myoinositol May Prevent Heart Disease
14) Myoinositol Helps with Prenatal Development
Myoinositol is crucial during prenatal growth and differentiation, with higher concentrations found in newborns than in adults. Inositol levels decline in infants within the first two weeks after birth (R).
15) Inositol Lowers Inflammation
In a study with mice exposed to lectin/immunostimulant (ConA), phosphatidylinositol suppressed the proinflammatory cytokines (R)
D-Chiro-Inositol (which is converted in the body from myoinositol) reduces TNF-alpha, IL-6, and resistin (R).
16) Myoinositol has Antioxidant Properties
Myoinositol administration reduces oxidative stress in the red blood cells of women with PCOS by improving insulin resistance (R).
17) Inositol May Prolong Lifespan
Inositol extends the life of fruit flies (R).
18) Myoinositol Mitigates Side Effects of Lithium
Lithium drug therapy is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder. A frequent side effect of this treatment (caused by depletion of inositol levels) is lithium-induced psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by dry scaly patches. In one study, inositol supplementation was found to significantly improve symptoms of psoriasis in patients taking lithium (R).
19) Myoinositol Boosts Skin Health
Myoinositol supplementation reduced severe to moderate acne in subjects with PCOS (R).
It was also found effective in reducing hirsutism (excessive hair growth in women) in women with high blood androgens and insulin resistance (not diagnosed with PCOS) (R).
Inositol and Cannabinoid Synthesis
IP3, which is a bit different than myoinositol, stimulates cannabinoid synthesis.
- Biosynthetic Pathway: glucose-6P → aldolization → L-myo-inositol-IP → hydrolysis → myoinositol [R]
- Inositol monophosphatase catalyzes dephosphorylation of myoinositol-I-phosphate to myoinositol [R]
- Calcium influx and inositol are necessary to maintain the “high-frequency Calcium oscillations characteristic of immature dendritic cells.” (R)
- results showed that the ratio of MI-DCI dropped from 100:1 in healthy participants to 0.2:1 in patients with PCOS who additionally displayed significantly higher levels of insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and luteinizing hormone (R).
- However, inositol had marginally more responders in depression than placebo (p = 0.06), and inositol showed a trend towards superior efficacy for depressive symptoms in patients with PMDD (p = 0.07) (R).
- Inositol is known to regulate/increase calcium levels within the cell. Calcium influx and inositol are necessary to maintain the “high-frequency Calcium oscillations characteristic of immature dendritic cells.” (R)
- Myoinositol enhances GLUT4 mobility in the skeletal muscle (R).
It can be found in the following food sources (R):
- Dairy products (chocolate and regular milk, yogurt)
- Dried prunes
- Various fresh fruit (cantaloupe, citrus fruits, cherries, peach, etc.)
- Vegetables (beans, artichoke, okra, cabbage, spinach, etc.)
- Grains (wheat, oatmeal, pasta, etc)
- Meat and seafood (beef, chicken breast, pork, tuna, crabs, clams)
Doctors recommend around 12 to 18 grams per day (R).
Caution and Side Effects
It can cause nerve damage from diabetes when it is abnormally metabolized (R).
Inositol increases in people with tumors in blood vessels, brain, spinal cord, and other diseases (R).
It may be partially responsible for negative impacts on the immune system (R).
Side effects include digestive problems, nausea, and tiredness (R).
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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