MYO-INOSITOL & ITS BENEFITS
Myo-Inositol is a sugar alcohol compound that acts to regulate a number of hormones in the body, including thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and insulin. Typically it comes in a powdered form, so it is easy to take!
There are a multitude of different conditions that myo-inositol has been studied for extensively that makes it one of my favorite supplemental suggestions.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT, INSULIN RESISTANCE, & BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION
Myo-inositol improves the action of insulin, by sensitizing insulin receptors to allow glucose to enter cells properly and not stay circulating in the blood. When glucose stays circulating, our body wants to put it somewhere, and it goes into our fat. Myo-inositol is used to support Type 2 Diabetes, Insulin-resistant weight gain, and Metabolic Syndrome. It reduces insulin levels, lowers HOMA Index (comparing insulin & glucose), and supporting cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood pressure levels.
HIRSUTISM, HIGH ANDROGENS, & ACNE
Myo-inositol has been shown to reduce circulating androgen (testosterone) levels, improve SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), therefore reducing conditions of high androgens like hormonal acne and increased hair growth (hirsutism) in females. Struggling with hormonal acne? Myo-inositol may be helpful if the acne is caused by blood sugar dysregulation or higher androgens/testosterones!
Myo-inositol acts as a secondary messenger that modulates TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which communicates from our brain to our thyroid and tells us how much thyroid hormone (T3, T4) to produce. So underactive thyroids (hypothyroidism) can benefit from myo-inositol supplementation. There is research that myo-inositol (in combination with selenium), can lower Anti-TPO (anti-thyroid peroxidase) antibodies, which are present in thyroid autoimmunity like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
EGG QUALITY & OVARIAN FUNCTION
There are higher levels of myo-inositol in follicular fluid in the ovaries, so by supporting proper levels of myo-inositol, there is an association with better egg quality. It is always part of my egg quality protocol for those trying to conceive. Myo-inositol has been shown to restore regular menstrual cycles to allow for ovulation. It is also believed that myo‑inositol may improve oocyte quality and ovarian function via modification of calcium signaling, required especially in the final stages of oocyte maturation.
POLYCISTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)
PCOS has the most research and is where myo-inositol is most commonly used. PCOS is the most common cause of ovulatory disorders and female infertility. Parts of this syndrome may include anovulation, irregular periods, hirsutism, acne, insulin resistance, obesity, and/or ovarian cysts. In addition, PCOS patients suffer from elevated oxidative stress and systemic inflammation. Everything that I have discussed above is usually present in PCOS! Myo-inositol works at reducing insulin levels, reducing androgens, and supporting comorbidities (like blood sugar dysregulation, high cholesterol, acne, & increased hair growth). Myo-inositol also reduces oxidative stress by reducing inflammatory processes in signaling pathways and studies have shown it improves the oxidative status of red blood cells after intervention.
Overall, myo-inositol is a lovely compound that I use all the time in practice - whether you have a diagnosed condition like PCOS or Hashimoto’s, or you are trying to conceive, or maybe struggle with weight loss or acne, consider having a further investigation into your hormone levels and myo-inositol may be a consideration for your treatment plan. Reach out to learn more!
** educational content only - please speak with your naturopathic doctor prior to initiating supplements.