Inositol is one of the most widely studied supplements for PCOS. This supplement that belongs to the B Complex family may be a key piece of the puzzle for someone struggling to promote regular ovulation and menstruation. Let’s take a peek at the top 3 reasons you should consider using Inositol to manage your PCOS:
#3 Improved HDL/ LDL Ratio
Up to 70% of women with PCOS have dyslipidemia which is characterized by low HDL (the good cholesterol) and high LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). This impacts women of all shapes and sizes on the PCOS spectrum. Lipid profiles help to determine cardiovascular risk and should be monitored by your doctor.
A study conducted on 92 women with PCOS who had anovulatory cycles and polycystic ovaries concluded that women who took inositol for 12-16 weeks had increased circulating HDL (the good cholesterol). An additional study conducted on 155 women with PCOS found that 12 weeks of treatment with inositol increased HDL and lowered LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). This means that inositol may be a great way to decrease cardiovascular risk and balance lipids for women with PCOS.
#2 Decreased Androgen Levels
High androgens or androgenic signs is one of the three criteria for PCOS diagnosis. Androgens are the hormones that we typically associate with male characteristics but we all have them. Many women with PCOS have high blood serum levels of androgenic hormones or androgenic signs such as hirsutism (male pattern hair growth), male pattern hair loss, and acne. These are the symptoms of PCOS that often leave women feeling concerned about their appearance.
The good news is that inositol was shown to decrease androgen synthesis and aid in recovery of hirsutism. That being said, hair follicles once established won’t die off from taking inositol. However, lowering androgens may help prevent new hair growth. A smaller study conducted on 25 women with PCOS found that inositol lowered free testosterone after 6 months. It is amazing in our clinic when our patients report that their acne is clearing, their hair feels thicker, and that they have no new male pattern hair growth.
#1 Inositol helps regulate insulin
At its root PCOS is an endocrine disorder characterised by metabolic syndrome. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistant cells. This means that their cells don’t take in glucose when prompted by insulin. This leads to high blood sugar and inflammation. In turn, this means women with PCOS may be able to move towards better ovulation and menstruation through regulating their blood sugar.
Inositol provides women with PCOS improvement in both insulin sensitivity and improved glucose tolerance. A study of 42 women between the ages of 18-40 showed a decrease in insulin and an increase in glucose tolerance after 12-16 weeks of treatment with inositol.
Which Inositol Should I Take?
There are 9 different types of Inositol so it is easy to see how this could get a bit confusing! Most of the research studies out there were conducted using varying degrees of Myo-Inositol. 2-4 Grams of Inositol seems to be the most widely studied amount. For this reason, we recommend our patients take Pure Encapsulations Inositol Powder. Simply put one scoop of inositol powder into the drink of your choice twice a day!