Inositol Powder for PCOS
Inositol powder for PCOS and inositol, what’s the difference? Inositol is a member of the B vitamin group, is becoming popular as a supplement for women with PCOS. This supplement, often taken as inositol powder, has been found in research trials to alleviate many of the underlying imbalances that cause the symptoms of PCOS.
Inositol for PCOS
Inositol is naturally made by the human body and is used in a variety of biochemical processes. However, women with PCOS have been found to excrete it far more rapidly than those without this syndrome. The result is that many women with PCOS may be deficient in inositol, and that this deficiency is likely one of the causes of the symptoms.
21 Reasons to Take Inositol
Many women with PCOS wonder why there is so much discussion of inositol powder. Here are the top 21 reasons that you probably should be taking this power supplement.
1. Reduced Insulin Resistance
Many women with PCOS struggle with insulin resistance. Inositol naturally made by the body is actually an important messenger molecule in insulin signalling.
Insulin in the blood stream binds to receptors on cell walls, which sets off a biochemical cascade that leads to glucose being taken in and used by cells. Inositol is part of this reaction.
Women with PCOS excrete inositol so quickly that they often do not have enough inositol to support this reaction, causing insulin resistance. Supplementing with inositol thus can reduce insulin resistance and improve the way glucose is used in the body.
2. Reduced Testosterone
Inositol powder also has been found in clinical trials to reduce serum testosterone. High levels of testosterone and other androgens is a classic symptom of PCOS, causing a variety of symptoms from excessive body hair to infertility. Women with PCOS who take inositol have been found to have around one-third as much testosterone as those who are not using this supplement.
Reducing testosterone levels not only relieves symptoms caused by high levels of this hormone, but allows other hormones to come into a better balance. Having high levels of one hormone often leads to overproduction or underproduction of others, as the endocrine system tries to achieve homeostasis.
3. Less Unwanted Hair Growth
One of the unfortunate side of effects of high androgen levels is unwanted hair growth. Men naturally have body and facial hair due to testosterone, but women usually do not have testosterone levels needed to create unwanted hair.
Women with PCOS who take inositol powder have a large decline in testosterone levels. Researchers believe that inositol helps their bodies to clear testosterone more quickly, which reduces symptoms such as unwanted hair growth.
4. Clearer Skin
Most people don’t realize the link between testosterone and acne. Testosterone causes glands in your pores to overproduce sebum, which is an oil that clogs pores when made in excess.
Because of this action of testosterone and other androgens, many women with PCOS often struggle with acne and oily skin. The reduction in testosterone that comes with taking inositol powder can effectively clear up acne once and for all by treating its cause.
5. Increased Chances of Ovulation
Many women struggle to ovulate and conceive. Taking inositol powder is one of the ways to increase pregnancy with PCOS.
A study at the University of Perugia in Italy found that 23% of women with PCOS ovulate when taking inositol, which is significantly higher than the 13% in women with PCOS who were not taking it. In addition, these women ovulated more quickly than the control group, in 23.6 days on average as compared to 41.8 days.
Inositol normalizes levels of LH, a female hormone that is essential for ovulation. This leads to better follicular maturation and the release of a healthy egg.
6. Higher Egg Quality
Eggs, or oocytes, must go through a complex process of maturation before being released. When this does not occur in optimal conditions, the resulting low quality eggs may not be capable of undergoing fertilization or implantation. Low quality eggs can even lead to miscarriage, which is likely why women with PCOS have a high risk of pregnancy loss.
Taking an inositol powder supplement leads to higher egg quality, which can increase the chances of conceiving a healthy pregnancy. The follicle cells that surround an egg while in the ovary have a high level of inositol, which may be essential to their function.
The effects of inositol on egg quality are not merely theoretical. A study of women with PCOS who took inositol and folic acid found that these women had much healthier oocytes, or eggs, than women who took folic acid alone.
7. Lower Chance of Gestational Diabetes
Women with PCOS do not just find it more difficult to conceive; they have higher rates of pregnancy complications as well. In particular, they are more prone to developing gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels become dangerously high during pregnancy. It can complicate pregnancy immensely, increasing the baby’s chance of premature labor and abnormal birth weight.
A study of women with PCOS found that those who take inositol powder while pregnant are half as likely to develop gestational diabetes. When combined with diet and exercise, which also cut the risk of gestational diabetes, inositol can significantly reduce the chances of developing this disease.
8. Healthier Liver
Around half of all women with PCOS struggle with fatty liver. There are few remedies for this serious health issue. However, inositol may offer hope.
Inositol is made of a hexane, or six carbon ring, with 6 hydroxyl groups attached. Because of this shape and composition, inositol is highly lipophilic, or attracted to fats. When inositol is being processed and excreted by the liver, some of the fats will bind to it and also be removed into the intestines.
The result is that there is less fat in the liver. This can reduce some of the symptoms of liver dysfunction such as stomach ache and digestive problems.
9. More Stable Mood
Inositol has long been known to be tied to mental health and stable mood. Low inositol levels have been tied in several clinical trials to depression and other mood disturbances.
For example, a study of people who are bipolar found that a sharp drop in inositol occurred before depressive episodes. Other mental health issues have shown a similar pattern.
Inositol helps the body to modulate serotonin, an important brain chemical related to happiness and joy. In particular, it helps to prevent reuptake so higher levels of this neurochemical are present in the bloodstream. If you suffer from depression or difficulty maintaining a positive mood, both of which are common in women with PCOS, then inositol powder may help.
10. Reduced Appetite and Food Cravings
Inositol powder helps to reduce both appetite and cravings in several ways. First, it helps to control both insulin and blood glucose levels, both of which are linked to appetite.
Second, inositol actually increases release of leptin, a hormone that prevents food cravings and promotes a feeling of satiety and fullness.
Because many women with PCOS struggle to lose weight, in part because of high insulin levels, inositol powder can be a great ally in the battle of the bulge.
11. Better Results when Combined with Other Treatments
There are many modern medical and alternative treatments for PCOS, as you have likely noticed. Many of these cannot be used together due to side effects or contraindications.
Finding the right combinations of drugs can be an immense challenge. One of the benefits of inositol is that it can be safely used with most PCOS medications and natural treatments. In fact, it has been found to make many medications, such as birth control pills, treat PCOS even more effectively.
You don’t have to stop using your existing medications to try inositol powder; it actually increases the positive effects of other medications.
12. Help for Symptoms of Menopause
Some women with PCOS go into early menopause or begin displaying symptoms of menopause early. While there are hormonal therapies that can help with the discomfort of menopause, these come with side effects and can increase one’s chances of developing certain diseases.
Menopause can be especially difficult for women with metabolic syndromes who already have hormonal imbalances. Inositol powder has been found to help menopause happen more gently and with fewer unpleasant side effects.
13. Less Inflammation
Inflammation is a common discomfort for women with PCOS. Cysts on ovaries can become inflamed or even cause inflammation in other organs in the lower abdominal region. These can lead to pain, pressure, distention of the abdomen, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Inositol has been found to reduce or even eliminate inflammation. It helps to prevent some of the side effects of ovarian cysts, which are part of living with PCOS.
14. Improved Nerve Function
Inositol is a component of phospholipids, which are part of all cell membranes in the human body. Without adequate amounts of inositol, membranes break down and do not function as well.
One of the most unpleasant manifestations of membrane breakdown is a loss of healthy nerve function. Nerve cell membranes are essential in sending and receiving signals. People who suffer an inositol deficiency, which is common in women with PCOS, may notice areas of numbness and tingling or chronic pain with no real explanation.
Taking inositol has been found to improve nerve function, keeping a healthier body and a more stable nervous system. This can help women with PCOS to lead healthier, more active lives.
15. A Better Nights’ Sleep
While poor sleep is not a criteria for PCOS diagnosis, it seems to be common among women with this syndrome. PCOS comes with discomfort, stress, and other factors that can have a negative effect on sleep.
Falling and staying asleep depends to a great extent on having good nervous system health and healthy levels of serotonin. Inositol not only improves the function of nerve cells, but also helps to increase levels of serotonin. These together contribute to higher quality sleep and less trouble falling asleep.
In addition, inositol communicates with GABA receptors in the brain. GABA receptors are responsible for calming, stress relief, and other mental processes that are crucial to sleep. If you feel like you could use a better night’s sleep, inositol powder is likely the right treatment for you.
16. Healthy Glucose Metabolism
Abnormal glucose metabolism goes hand in hand with insulin resistance, which is part of PCOS. In a person without insulin resistance, insulin stimulates cells to take in glucose and use it for energy.
In a person with insulin resistance, cells are resistance to the message insulin is trying to send: that they need to take up glucose. This can lead to diabetes and weight gain, as the excess glucose eventually is converted to fat and stored.
By improving the way cells respond to insulin, inositol actually improves glucose metabolism. Cells are stimulated to take in glucose and use it for energy, leading to higher energy levels and less food being converted into fat.
17. Higher Rate of Fat Breakdown
Women with PCOS who take inositol have higher rates of fat breakdown than those who do not take this supplement. Although the mechanism of this benefit is unknown, it is believed to be due to inositol’s lipophilic properties.
Inositol is lipophilic due to its molecular shape. This means that lipids and fats are attracted to the molecule and tend to stick to it. Inositol is eventually metabolized and excreted into the intestines. It is believed that fat molecules actually are excreted with it due to the attraction between the molecules, and that this is responsible for higher rates of fat breakdown in people who take inositol.
Weight loss is a major challenge for women with PCOS. While this benefit of inositol powder may be only a slight benefit, it can increase weight loss when combined with diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes.
18. Lower Cholesterol
Many women with PCOS have high cholesterol and other blood lipids. Over time, this can be destructive to the cardiovascular system and lead to both heart disease and stroke.
When inositol bonds with choline, an amino acid present in most human diets, the two chemicals make lecithin. Lecithin is important in the battle against high cholesterol. It breaks down fats in your body, especially cholesterol deposits in your blood vessels and organs, and then removes them from the body.
Lecithin causes a measurable decrease in blood cholesterol levels. This can help women with PCOS to maintain a health cardiovascular system and prevent some of the diseases that they are predisposed to.
19. Lowered Risk of Cancer
Women with PCOS are more prone to certain types of cancer than women without this syndrome. Unfortunately, cancer is one of the greatest killers in the United States, making this a huge health concern for women living with this syndrome.
In recent trials, inositol powder was found to have a surprising benefit for people who take it: it caused tumors to grow more slowly and even completely inhibited their growth in some cases.
While inositol is not meant to be used as sole treatment for cancer, this benefit is definitely a plus for any woman who plans to use this supplement to treat their PCOS. Lower rates of cancer are always a welcome change.
20. Cost Effective
Inositol supplements can be expensive. Inositol powder is the most cost effective way to take this healthy supplement.
Inositol powder is less expensive per gram than other forms of inositol, such as capsules and pills. In addition, inositol powder can be found at a variety of stores and even online. Most of the studies that found health benefits for inositol used the powdered version, because this reduces fillers and other compounds that could affect the results.
Taking handfuls of pills and supplements is often not convenient. Inositol powder, on the other hand, is very convenient. It dissolves easily in water and other liquids, adding a pleasantly sweet taste. In addition, using inositol powder makes it easy to change or adjust dosing if you wish. Many studies used 2000-4000 mg/day, and you can replicate these exactly with easy to measure inositol powder.
5 Tips To Choosing the Right Inositol Powder
If you are ready to make a meaningful change in your health with inositol powder, here are a few guidelines for choosing the right one.
1. Choose a pure supplement.
In many cases, natural supplements have a great deal of fillers or other inactive ingredients. While these are sometimes necessary, for example to make the inositol dissolve better in water, they are sometimes used to dilute the inositol powder and make it appear to be more than it really is.
When purchasing inositol powder, it is important to know how many doses you are getting from each container and how pure the inositol powder is. This will help you to determine which supplements are a good deal. In addition, fillers can sometimes interfere with absorption or cause side effects, so less is definitely more.
2. Try different brands.
Not all inositol powders are created equal. Some dissolve more easily in water; others have a more pleasant taste.
No one can predict which inositol powder you will like best. For this reason, it is usually a good idea to try a few different ones until you find the brand that you prefer.
As long as your inositol powders contain the same type of inositol and you are taking roughly the same amount, they should function the same. You should continue to see positive changes in your PCOS and your overall health even while trying different brands.
3. Choose the right type of inositol.
There are actually many different kinds of inositol. The two that are natural to the human body which have been studied for health benefits are d-chiro-inositol and myo-inositol.
It is important that an inositol powder supplement contain one or both of these, as these are the isomers that have been found to have positive health effects for women with PCOS.
4. Look for expiration and manufacturing dates.
As with all natural products, inositol powder is only good for so long. A reputable manufacturer will print either the manufacturing date or the expiration date, or even both.
Inositol begins to break down over time. When people take it without seeing an effect on their PCOS, it is possible that they are taking inositol powder that is too old to work effectively.
Not only does this practice of printing manufacturing or expiration dates reassure you that you are getting the fresh supplement that you are paying for; it also will show you that the manufacturer is following best practices when it comes to safety and quality.
5. Choose a trustworthy brand.
Natural health supplements are not well-regulated in the United States and other parts of the western world. While most brands offer the pure products that they promise, this is not always the case.
It is important to purchase inositol powder, or any other health supplement, from a reputable company that guarantees and stands behind their products. Look for brands with a guarantee, with certification from outside regulatory agencies, or who sell through large national retailers as these tend to have good quality control.
Inositol powder offers relief for many of the underlying health issues that cause the symptoms of PCOS. There are no other medications, natural or otherwise, that so thoroughly address insulin resistance, excessive androgen levels, and other symptoms of this disorder. If you are a woman with PCOS, try an inositol powder supplement today and see if this PCOS miracle supplement can change your life as it has for so many people like you.
- G-proteins of fat-cells. Role in hormonal regulation of intracellular inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. Read abstract
- Cancer inhibition by inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) and inositol: from laboratory to clinic. Read abstract
- D-Chiro-Inositol – Its Functional Role in Insulin Action and its Deficit in Insulin Resistance. Read abstract
- Role of inositolphosphoglycan mediators of insulin action in the polycystic ovary syndrome. Read abstract
- Double-blind, controlled trial of inositol treatment of depression. Read abstract
- Myo-Inositol supplementation and onset of gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnant women with a family history of type 2 diabetes: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Read abstract
- The menstrual cycle regularization following D-chiro-inositol treatment in PCOS women: a retrospective study. Read abstract