Inositol and PCOS: The Benefits and Why I Choose Ovasitol
Have you recently come across inositol and are now wondering if it can help your PCOS?
Inositol is a supplement that is frequently discussed in the PCOS community. You may have come across PCOS advocates speaking of the health benefits they have experienced taking inositol. But you may be asking yourself, will it work for me?
So in this post, we will look at what inositol is and its benefits for PCOS. To finish off, I will share with you why I choose Ovasitol as my inositol supplement for PCOS.
Let’s get started!
What is Inositol?
Inositol is a type of sugar that is naturally found in food, like wholegrains and citrus fruits. There are nine forms of Inositol but the most studied are Myo and D-Chiro Inositol.
What is Myo Inositol and What does it do in the Body?
Myo inositol is the most abundant form of inositol in the human body.
Its job is to help the cells in the body absorb glucose in the blood. High levels are found in the brain and heart cells because they need lots of glucose to function. Myo Inositol is also able to turn into secondary products through various processes including epimerization.
Myo Inositol converts to D-Chiro Inositol
An enzyme found in the body called NAD/NADH epimerase converts Myo into D-Chiro inositol depending on the specific needs of the tissue. The NAD/NADH enzyme is insulin-dependent, meaning it is stimulated by insulin to work. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas to keep blood sugar levels under control. So in order for the body to convert Myo-inositol to D-Chiro inositol, the hormone insulin needs to be working and highly sensitive.
What is D-Chiro Inositol and What does it do in the Body?
D-Chiro inositol, on the other hand, is involved in the creation of stored energy in the body's tissues. Cells that are responsible for glycogen storage, like the liver, muscle and fat cells, contain high levels of D-Chiro inositol.
Somebody that is deficient in D-Chiro Inositol has a problem converting Myo to D-Chiro inositol. Meaning that their body will have difficulty storing energy reserves into the body's tissues. As a result, causing a whole host of health problems.
You now know what inositol is and its role in the body, let’s take a look at what the benefits are for PCOS.
The Benefits of Inositol for PCOS
Inositol has been studied at lengths and researchers have found tremendous health benefits for women with PCOS.
Inositol Lowers Insulin and Testosterone Levels
Insulin resistance is one of the most common root cause of PCOS.
Researchers found PCOS women are not converting enough Myo inositol into D-Chiro inositol because of a reduction in the NAD/NADH epimerase activity. But they also excrete too much D-Chiro inositol through urine. Such an imbalance is said to decrease insulin sensitivity and cause insulin resistance.
However, studies have found taking inositol can reduce insulin resistance and lower testosterone levels. This is because it has the ability to act like insulin in the body and help it to work better.
A study found obese PCOS women who took 500mg a day of D-Chiro inositol for 3 months improved their insulin levels and their insulin sensitivity.
Inositol Increases Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) Levels
Researchers have found that insulin also lowers Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) levels in the blood.
SHBG is a protein made by the liver. Its role in the body is to bind together with three sex hormones; estrogen, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). SHBG then carries these hormones throughout the body to reduce the level of free hormones.
Testosterone bound to SHBG isn’t used by the body. Women with PCOS have low levels of SHBG and therefore more testosterone than normal is used by the body. Leading to PCOS symptoms like infertility, hair loss and excess hair growth.
A study found SHBG levels increased when participants took Myo inositol for 24 weeks. This is because of myo inositol’s ability to lower insulin levels in the body. As a result, increasing SHBG levels in the blood.
PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Researchers found that the follicular fluid (liquid that surrounds the developing egg) in women with PCOS contains a Myo to D-Chiro inositol ratio of 0.2:1. While non-PCOS women have a ratio of 100:1.
Now, unlike other tissues in the body, the ovaries never become insulin resistant. So experts suggest PCOS women who suffer from high insulin levels convert too much Myo to D-Chiro Inositol in the theca cells (a group of hormone-releasing cells in the ovary). This leads to an overproduction of D-chiro inositol and a deficiency of Myo Inositol in the ovary.
A study found taking Myo-Ins, alone or in combination with D-chiro, can help restore ovulation and improve fertility in PCOS women. Researchers say Myo-inositol can help restore ovulation because it encourages communication between the hormones in the brain and the ovary which is often impaired due to depleted Myo-inositol levels. Myo Inositol signals to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a hormone that helps follicles in the ovary to grow into an egg, as a result, effectively restoring a healthy functioning ovary and developing higher quality eggs.
Lowers LDL and Increases HDL Cholesterol Levels
Research shows 70% of women with PCOS have high levels of LDL cholesterol, 'bad cholesterol', and low levels of HDL cholesterol, 'good cholesterol'. A combination of high LDL and low HDL increases the risk of heart disease. But a study found taking myo inositol led to a decrease in LDL cholesterol levels and an increase in HDL levels. This may be because of inositol’s ability to lower insulin resistance and fat around the abdomen. Both of which can cause LDL cholesterol levels to rise and HDL cholesterol to decrease.
Helps with Fat Loss
Weight gain and difficulty losing weight is a common symptom of PCOS. But what if I was to tell you that inositol may help with fat loss?
So here’s the thing.
Inositol is a lipotropic agent, meaning it helps stimulate the breakdown of fat in the liver and other parts of the body. Now weight loss extends further than visually seeing the drop in pounds. It also about the internal fat your body is losing.
A reduction of fat in the liver and around the body can also improve insulin signaling. As a result, lowering insulin resistance and improving PCOS symptoms. So inositol is a great way to burn fat and improve insulin resistance in women with PCOS.
Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of suffering from depression. Yet, research suggests that inositol may help reduce depression.
One study found that individuals who took 12 grams of inositol daily for four weeks noticed improvements in their depression. Experts reveal this is because inositol helps all of our major neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, to relay messages. So without enough inositol, neurotransmitters in our brain cannot do their job properly. Although the results reveal that inositol had antidepressant effects, further trials are needed.
Why combine Myo and D-Chiro Inositol?
Many studies focus on trying to prove which form of inositol is more effective at treating PCOS. But researchers found the combined approach (a 40:1 ratio of Myo to D-Chiro inositol) is more effective.
The Combined Approach Addresses Metabolic and Reproductive Functions
Evidence shows women with PCOS have altered inositol ratios in their tissues. Research suggests that in some tissues, PCOS women struggle to convert Myo Inositol to D-Chiro and excrete too much D-Chiro. While in the ovary, PCOS women convert too much Myo Inositol to D-Chiro inositol leading to a deficiency in Myo-inositol. The altered ratios, as a result, affect how the body functions and in turn lead to hormonal imbalances.
So because of the abnormal ratios, a combined approach is needed to address the imbalances within the tissues and in turn, help the body function optimally.
Myo-Inositol Improves Fertility
Studies have found Myo inositol is more effective at restoring ovulation and improving egg quality because of its ability to regulate the level of FSH in the body. In contrast, research shows high doses of D-Chiro inositol (300-600-1200-2400 mg daily) are considered toxic to ovaries and egg growth. So a D-chiro-inositol supplement may not be effective or safe when trying to conceive.
D-Chiro Inositol Reduces Insulin Resistance
But alternatively, D-Chiro inositol is recognized for its ability to lower insulin levels. This is because of its ability to act like insulin and dispose of sugar within the blood into the body's tissues. So as you can see, a combination of the two is needed to address the insulin resistance and infertility PCOS women may suffer from. One is not necessarily superior to the other, a combination is key to balancing hormones and reversing PCOS.
Where can I Buy Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro Inositol Together?
Ovasitol, by Theralogix, is a 100% pure inositol powder containing Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro Inositol in the body’s natural 40:1 ratio. Each serving of Ovasitol provides 2000 mg of myo-inositol and 50 mg of D-chiro-inositol.
Theralogix’s Ovasitol can be purchased in sachet or in canister and scoop form. Both options provide a 3 month supply of inositol. Ovasitol is odorless, tasteless and convenient. Simply mix one sachet or one level scoop in water or any other beverage twice a day after food. I personally like the portability of the sachets as it allows me to take it while I am on the go. This way I have no excuse for forgetting to take my Ovasitol.
Ovasitol is tested and certified by NSF® International. This is a not-for-profit organization that reviews products for content accuracy and purity. This voluntary third-party testing assures me Ovasitol is a high-quality product.
I love Ovasitol so much I became an affiliate. Because I am now affiliated with Theralogix's Ovasitol. You can use discount code 144N11 for $10 off your order!
My Personal Experience Taking Ovasitol
I used to take D-Chiro Inositol before I discovered Ovasitol and why combining the two forms of inositol was more effective for balancing hormones and reversing PCOS.
Here’s what happened when I took Ovasitol for my PCOS.
Regulated My Menstrual Cycle
I had suffered from an irregular menstrual cycle for many years. Four months into taking Ovasitol I began seeing improvements in my cycle. Until eventually I finally had a period and a regular menstrual cycle.
Ovasitol helped to increase my FSH and bring balance to my female hormones. As a result, restoring ovulation which can, in turn, regulate the menstrual cycle.
Fewer Spot Breakouts and Improvement in Hirsutism
I noticed within 6 months of taking Ovasitol my hirsutism improved and I was breaking out less. This is because, as discussed, inositol helps increase SHBG and in turn lower testosterone levels.
To see an improvement in these two PCOS symptoms was exciting because we all know the impact they can have on our self-esteem.
Boosted My Energy Levels
Fatigue is yet another common symptom of PCOS that I used to experience. No matter how many hours of sleep I had, I still felt physically and mentally exhausted. Ovasitol boosted my energy levels because it acts like insulin in the body and helps to manage blood sugar levels.
Waking up and having to do anything physically doesn’t feel like a daily struggle. My body no longer feels heavy and drained of energy. I feel more energized!
Improved My Mood
Since supplementing with Ovasitol my mood has improved. I believe this is because inositol helps our neurotransmitters do their job. I now feel like myself again, more positive and excited to take on life!
Now, studies have found no relevant side effects when combining Myo-Ins and D-chiro-Ins. Experts say the combined approach is safe and an effective therapeutic option for women with PCOS. But always consult a medical professional before you buy any new supplement.
As discussed, Inositol/Ovasitol can be a great addition to your PCOS diet. It has been shown to help improve insulin resistance, reduce testosterone levels and improve fertility. As well as reduce LDL cholesterol levels, depression and help with fat loss.
All supplements must be targeted to address the root cause of your PCOS. So, before supplementing with inositol or Ovasitol speak to your doctor to find out if this is a supplement your body needs.
Now, taking inositol may help your PCOS but you must understand reversing PCOS requires a holistic approach. It is important that you are also are eating nutrient-dense foods and exercising regularly. As well as managing your stress and getting plenty of sleep.
I understand that living with PCOS can feel like a daily struggle. You may find yourself wanting to give up because you are not seeing any progress. But reversing PCOS takes time. PCOS doesn’t just happen overnight and so treating it won’t either. You must be patient.
Just so you know: This post includes affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I will get a small commission, with no extra cost to you. It helps me keep my little website going. Thank you for your continued support!
Hey there! I am Despina Pavlou, founder of PCOS Oracle, certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. I want to share with you the diet and lifestyle changes I made to naturally reverse my PCOS and achieve hormonal balance. I believe using my holistic approach you too can take back control from PCOS.