What is Myo-Inositol? A Comprehensive Guide

Myo-inositol: Understanding its Benefits, Usage and Potential Side Effects

Myo-inositol is an organic compound belonging to the polyol family of carbohydrates, found naturally in foods like fruits, grains and nuts (1). Additionally, our bodies produce myo-inositol naturally as part of various physiological processes (1). In this comprehensive guide we will investigate its benefits, uses and potential side effects.

What Are the Advantages of Myo-Inositol?

Myo-inositol has been discovered to offer numerous health advantages (2), and some of its most notable advantages include:

  1. Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Myo-inositol has been found to significantly enhance insulin sensitivity among those suffering from insulin resistance (2). Studies have also indicated that myo-inositol can decrease insulin resistance and promote healthier glucose metabolism in those living with type 2 diabetes (2,3).
  2. Reducing Anxiety and Depression: Myo-inositol has been proven to have a calming effect on the brain, helping reduce anxiety and depression (2)  . Studies have also demonstrated its efficacy against panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression (2,4).
  3. Myo-inositol has been shown to improve fertility for women living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal condition affecting women of reproductive age, often leading to infertility (5). Studies have demonstrated that myo-inositol can enhance ovulation rates and ultimately increase pregnancy rates in those diagnosed with PCOS5.
  4. Myo-inositol Can Reduce Inflammation: Studies have revealed myo-inositol's anti-inflammatory properties, helping reduce chronic inflammation linked to diseases like heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's. Reducing Inflammation Markers In the Body (6) may provide relief against such health concerns (6).

How Can Myo-Inositol Be Used?

Myo-inositol may be utilized in various ways, including:

  1. Supplements: Myo-inositol supplements come in the form of capsules, tablets and powders and may be prescribed to treat insulin resistance, anxiety depression and PCOS. Dosage will depend upon the condition being addressed (2).
  2. Food Sources of Myo-inositol: Fruits, grains and nuts contain myo-inositol; these include cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, beans and brown rice which all provide myo-inositol in abundance (1). Eating a diet rich in these foods will increase myo-inositol consumption (1).
  3. Topical Creams: Myo-inositol creams are used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, directly applying them onto affected areas helps reduce inflammation and itching (2).

Are There Any Adverse Reactions from Myo-Inositol Supplements?

Myo-inositol is generally safe and well tolerated (2). However, some individuals may experience mild side effects like nausea, diarrhea, headache, or dizziness (2).

In most cases these reactions subside on their own without needing medical intervention; if any persist or become severe however it's wise to consult your healthcare provider (2).

Wrapping up

Myo-inositol is a naturally occurring compound with multiple health benefits. It's often used to treat insulin resistance, anxiety, depression and PCOS (2). Myo-inositol can be found in foods as well as supplements; although generally considered safe it's wise to consult a healthcare provider prior to beginning supplementation (2).

Sources:

  1. WebMD. "Inositol: Health Benefits, Safety Information, Dosage, and More." source 
  2. Healthline. "5 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Inositol." source 
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Myo-Inositol as a Key Supporter of Fertility and Physiological ..." source 
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Myo-inositol for insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ..." source 
  5. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Myo-Inositol and Its Derivatives: Their Emerging Role in the Treatment ..." source 
  6. Verywell Mind. "Inositol: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions." source 

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References