What you should know about myoinositol

Myo-Inositol: the key to fighting PCOS and protecting your brain from ageing

Víctor Blasco, PhD in Chemistry. Specialist in Medicinal Chemistry.

Women’s health is a fundamental issue of great concern in today’s society, and is often considered a complex and heterogeneous issue. Women may experience various pathologies throughout their lives that can affect their physical and emotional well-being. The most common pathologies include certain gynaecological diseases, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, vaginal infection or bacterial vaginosis. In addition, there are also age-specific problems, such as menopause and osteoporosis, which mainly affect older women.

Among the most common pathologies affecting women of reproductive age is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects between 5% and 10% of women and is characterised by the presence of ovarian cysts, high levels of androgens (male hormones) and alterations in menstrual cycles. Women with PCOS may experience a wide range of symptoms such as acne, weight gain, irregular or absent menstrual periods, excessive facial and body hair growth and infertility due to lack of ovulation. In addition, other symptoms related to elevated androgen levels are also observed. [1]

PCOS can have a significant impact on the quality of life of women with the condition, potentially increasing the risk of developing metabolic diseases such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Although the condition can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be ambiguous and varied, it is imperative that women with the condition receive early diagnosis and individualised treatment to reduce long-term health risks.

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Treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome depends on the specific symptoms of each woman. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms, regularise menstrual cycles, promote ovulation and prevent long-term complications. A number of strategies are available, including the use of drugs that stimulate ovulation, the use of drugs that lower androgen levels, and the use of certain dietary supplements, such as Myo-Inositol, which greatly alleviate the symptoms of the condition.

Myo-Inositol is a chemical compound found naturally in our bodies and is also present in many foods such as fruits, nuts and whole grains. It is a type of carbohydrate that is similar in structure to glucose, and exhibits numerous health benefits. [2] It is also the best-known isomer of inositol and belongs to the family of cyclic polyols.

Myo-Inositol has been the subject of numerous studies in relation to women’s health and in particular the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and increased fertility. Myo-Inositol has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by increasing the expression of glucose transporters in cells. It also regulates hormone levels, promoting ovulation in women with PCOS and reducing testosterone levels in women with excess testosterone. [3] Therefore, its use in combination with folic acid can improve ovarian quality and the ovulation process, lower serum androgen levels, regulate menstrual cycles and increase pregnancy rates in women seeking to conceive. [4]

In addition to its use in the treatment of PCOS and fertility, Myo-Inositol has also been investigated in the treatment of other disorders, such as anxiety and depression, being able to significantly reduce the degree of anxiety and improving the quality of sleep in individuals. [5] In conjunction with this, it has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Alzheimer’s disease. [6]

In addition to the above, this molecule has other important functions for our bodies. On the one hand, this compound plays a fundamental role in regulating blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes, significantly reducing them and improving the quality of life of people suffering from this type of pathology. In addition, it also improves insulin sensitivity, reducing the resistance that some people show to this hormone. [7]

Studies have also shown that Myo-Inositol can stimulate and strengthen brain health. Overall, the results indicate that this compound could improve cognitive function thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which could protect the brain from cell damage caused by oxidative stress. [8] In addition, Myo-Inositol helps maintain the balance of certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, which are essential for normal brain function and are involved in memory, concentration and mood.

However, these data are still preliminary and the research has mainly been conducted in animal models, so further study and analysis is needed to confirm the effects of Myo-Inositol on brain health.

Finally, this compound has also been shown to be beneficial for the reduction of acne in women suffering from PCOS and even for the treatment of juvenile acne. This is because Myo-Inositol helps to reduce oil production and inflammation of the skin, preventing the appearance of pimples on various parts of the body. [9]

In short, Myo-Inositol is a natural compound that exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hormonal properties. It has been found to be an effective solution for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, Myo-Inositol improves ovulation and fertility in women, helps regulate hormone levels and may protect the brain from cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Ultimately, dietary supplements, such as Myo-Inositol, can be an effective and safe option for improving our body’s overall health and preventing disease, especially when combined with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

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[1] Azziz, R., Carmina, E., Dewailly, D., Diamanti-Kandarakis, E., Escobar-Morreale, H. F., Futterweit, W., Janssen, O. E., Legro, R. S., Norman, R. J., Taylor, A. E., & Witchel, S. F. The Androgen Excess and PCOS Society criteria for the polycystic ovary syndrome: the complete task force report. Fertility and Sterility. 2009, 91 (2), 456-488.

[2] Chhetri DR. Myo-Inositol and Its Derivatives: Their Emerging Role in the Treatment of Human Diseases. Front Pharmacol. 2019, 10 (1172), 1-8.

[3] Unfer V, Facchinetti F, Orrù B, Giordani B, Nestler J. Myo-inositol effects in women with PCOS: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Endocr Connect. 2017, 6 (8), 647-658.

Genazzani, A. D., Lanzoni, C., Ricchieri, F., Jasonni, V. M., & Strucchi, C. The role of inositol(s) in the pathogenesis of PCOS-related insulin resistance. Gynecological Endocrinology, 2014, 30 (5), 353-356.

[4] Unfer V, Nestler JE, Kamenov ZA, Prapas N, Facchinetti F. Effects of Inositol(s) in Women with PCOS: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Int J Endocrinol. 2016, 1-12.

[5] Vadnal, R., Parthasarathy, L. Parthasarathy, R. Role of Inositol in the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders. CNS Drugs, 1997, 7, 6–16

[6] Carlomagno, G. Unfer, V. Inositol safety: clinical evidences. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 2011, 15 (8), 931-936.

[7] Pintaudi B, Di Vieste G, Corrado F, Lucisano G, Giunta L, D’Anna R, Di Benedetto A. Effects of myo-inositol on glucose variability in women with gestational diabetes. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2018, 22 (19), 6567-6572.

[8] Sibomana, I., Grobe, N., DelRaso, N. J. Reo, N. V. Influence of myo-inositol plus ethanolamine on plasmalogens and cell viability during oxidative stress. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2019, 32 (2), 265-284.

[9] Zacchè M, Caputo L, Filippis S, Zacchè G, Dindelli M, Ferrari A. Efficacy of myo-inositol in the treatment of cutaneous disorders in young women with polycystic ovary síndrome. Gynecological Endocrinology, 2009, 25 (8), 508-513.

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