Taking Inositol For PCOS: 7 Things You Must Know
Hormonal imbalance brings about a few health issues to the female body, and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of them. This syndrome may also lead to more severe health problems, including infertility and diabetes.
Inositols, a vitamin-like substance, have shown promising results in PCOS treatment. Inositols Being 9 in total, only two types are beneficial to people with polycystic ovary syndrome; Myo-inositol (MI) and D-chiro inositol (DCI). Myo-inositol is also referred to as vitamin B8 in Australia.
This article offers more on how inositol supplements help people suffering from PCOS get better quality egg production and more control over their blood sugar levels.
Benefits of inositol (B8) supplements for PCOS treatment
- Inositol supplements improve insulin levels
- They help ease down intense cravings
- Myo-inositol is vital in improving egg quality
- It helps in reducing cholesterol
- Lower the risk of pregnant women getting Gestational Mellitus
- They help ease inflammation
Inositol Improves Insulin Resistance
Though the body voluntarily makes insulin, people with PCOS, their bodies are sometimes more insulin resistant. Inositols are similar to a type of sugar our bodies make that helps balance our blood sugar levels, mood and fertility. They also increase your metabolism.
Due to the body’s failure to use insulin effectively, PCOS increases the risk of infertility, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. However, inositols produce molecules that trigger the body’s response to insulin.
According to research, we can enhance our usual insulin signalling systems by using inositols as a backup when the system gives out.
You Can Get Inositols From Food and Supplements
We have two options when it comes to getting inositols. You can buy inositols supplements, powders, and pills from a pharmacy, and these supplements can easily be mixed or taken with water.
You can also get inositols from eating healthy, inositol-rich foods like fruits such as citrus fruits, grapefruit and cantaloupe, nuts such as walnuts and almonds, and grains such as whole wheat grains and brown rice and beans such as lima and navy beans.
As much as inositols settle well with many, the diabetes drug used to treat PCOS, Glucophage (Metformin), comes with some side effects, including nausea, stomach aches, and diarrhea.
Myo-inositol & D-chiro inositol Benefits For PCOS
Myo-inositol (MI) and D-chiro inositol (DCI) is the most vital of the nine inositols as they aid the body’s response to insulin for people with PCOS. They also play a significant role in controlling our hormones.
In females, MI helps regulate the hormone responsible for egg production, while DCI helps control the level of male hormones in women.
Myo inositols make up 99% of our body’s inositols. The body also needs a certain level of DCI for balance as they are responsible for decreasing insulin resistance and regulating blood sugar levels. This is why the body converts MI into DCI.
Research has shown that there is a decreased ability for the bodies of those with PCOS disorder to convert MI into DCI inositols.
High MI to DCI Ratio May Contribute to PCOS
For a while now, researchers have taken an interest in distinguishing what inositols work better at treating PCOS, MI or DCI. Various studies have proven that the two inositols should be used together for better insulin sensitivity and restarting ovulation.
When used in combination, the two inositols work better at helping the body release eggs and use insulin effectively. For a healthy female, the ratio of MI to DCI in the body’s tissues is roughly 40 to 1, while that of people with PCOS is much more.
The 40 to 1 MI to DCI ratio is what doctors recommend for treating PCOS as it is the most effective at enhancing fertility. Food supplements made by companies, on the other hand, come with a wide range of inositols ratios.
They may range from as low as 4-to-1 to as high as 104-to-1. Others purely contain DCI inositols, while others have vitamins, artificial sugars and more substances added to them. No study proves that these added substances help.
Some actually do make the treatment less effective. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and artificial sugars like sucralose make it difficult for the small intestines to absorb MI.
Recent studies have also shown that the 40 to 1 MI to DCI ratio has a better success rate at 46.7% than Metformin, the diabetes drug, at 11. 2%.
Women who took this ratio showed better weight loss results and increased pregnancy and ovulation rates than those who took Metformin.
The Right MI to DCI Ratio Improves Fertility
PCOS affects up to 12% of the female population in Australia and worldwide. It is also the most common cause of infertility, and the symptoms begin when a female gets her first period in most cases.
They vary very different levels of MI and DCI as compared to other organs. For people with PCOS, their levels of MI and DCI inositols in the ovaries are imbalanced. This affects various bodily functions, including:
Through the years, researchers have linked PCOS to decreased ovulation. People with this syndrome have higher DCI levels than MI, making ovulation less frequent or stopping it altogether.
If you have PCOS, you may notice that you have irregular periods or none, which can be remedied using inositols. By reducing male hormones in the female body and increasing insulin sensitivity, inositols can help bring back periods to normal.
- Quality of the egg
It is not rare for women with PCOS to produce less mature eggs than those with a healthy reproductive system, and this is because the follicular fluid surrounding the eggs inside the ovaries has a low amount of MI.
For eggs to mature, they need high levels of MI within the follicular fluid. The MI to DCI ratio for a healthy female’s follicular fluid is approximately 100 to 1. On the other hand, the ratio for infertile women with PCOS is 0.2 to 1.
Inositols are the best treatment for reinstituting ovulation and better egg quality. Researchers insist that one should consider taking the inositols in the recommended ratio for the treatment to work.
Aside from high levels of DCI preventing the body from absorbing enough MI, it has also shown that they negatively affect the cells that gradually make eggs, leading to poor quality eggs.
Myo-inositol Is Used to Treat Gestational Diabetes
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a diabetes catalyst; this is why people with this disorder are four times more at risk of getting this disease.
PCOS also poses a risk for pregnant women getting a particular type of diabetes known as Gestational Diabetes (GD). A study showed that their risk is 20% greater than those of healthy women.
If you have PCOS or are overweight, taking inositol supplements during pregnancy is vital as they are proven to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
In 2012, a study was conducted whereby only 17.4% of pregnant women with PCOS who took MI developed GD. However, 54% of those who did not take MI developed GD.
The body makes sugars inform of inositols that assist in regulating insulin and cholesterol levels. For people with PCOS disorder, MI and DCI inositols are the most effective form of treatment.
We get inositols from specific food supplements or eating healthy foods like citrus fruits. A 40 to 1 MI to DCI ratio is most helpful to any woman struggling with infertility, and this ratio also lowers cholesterol and insulin levels for people suffering from PCOS.
Treating people with PCOS by combining MI and DCI inositols is highly supported by researchers as it has shown promising results. This option is as well very affordable compared to most infertility treatments.
If you have PCOS, go ahead and ask your doctor if they can consider putting you on this treatment and whether it can benefit you.
As much as inositol supplements are readily available, you are not advised to try them yourself. It would be best if you got medical guidance as you may end up administering yourself the wrong ratios that may negatively impact your body.
A good example is if you end up taking too much DCI. This can intensify the decrease of your female (estrogen) hormone levels while increasing your male hormone levels.
Estrogen has a few advantages to the female body, including preventing breast cancer and protecting the bones. Though every woman has male hormones (testosterone), increased levels in women already at a high risk of infertility are not good.
If, after consulting with your doctor, they decide you can try the inositols treatment, it is crucial that you watch what you eat or drink. Avoid as much sugar alcohols and artificial sugars as you can as they weaken the effectiveness of B8 supplements.