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Inositol for PCOS; benefits & recommended dose

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

If you have PCOS there's a good chance you've heard of inositol, but does it really make a difference to your PCOS symptoms? Here's everything you need to know about inositol.

What is Inositol?

Inositol is a natural substance found in the tissues of the body. It used to be classified as a vitamin but is no longer done so as it is produced by tissues in the body. It is also naturally present in some of the foods we eat like fruits and beans.

There are nine different types of inositol, two of which - Myo-inositol (MI) and D-Chiro inositol (DCI) - are of particular interest in PCOS. In the body, MI is converted to DCI to maintain a certain ratio – it is thought that the ratio in most tissues is 40:1.

How does it benefit PCOS?

MI plays an important role in insulin signalling and the presence of adequate amounts of MI are important for the adequate maturation of oocyte development (monthly ovulation).

Studies have indicated that as many as 70-80% of those with PCOS have insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia. Insulin resistance and elevated glucose levels reduce the uptake of inositol by tissues, decrease production and increase excretion of myo-inositol. For these reasons, those with PCOS tend to have lower levels of MI.

Supplementing with inositol has been shown to have the following effects in those with PCOS:

Insulin sensitizer

MI improves how we respond to insulin therefore reducing hyperinsulinemia and glucose levels. This helps improve the symptoms associated with elevated insulin levels such as abdominal obesity, difficulty losing weight and elevated testosterone levels, as well as decreasing the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Regulates ovulation

Inositol plays a role in regulating the hormones associated with ovulation ensuring hormonal levels support the maturation and release of a healthy egg each cycle. This can help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve fertility.

Decreases testosterone levels

Studies have shown that supplementing with inositol can help reduce testosterone levels, which improves many symptoms associated with PCOS such as male pattern baldness, hirsutism (excess facial hair) and acne.

Reduces risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease

Inositol helps reduce blood pressure and serum triglycerides which improves overall health and reduces the risk of further health complications.

Reduces sugar and carbohydrate cravings

Something often experienced by those with PCOS is intense sugar and/or carbohydrate cravings because of insulin resistance. Due to the impact of inositol on insulin sensitivity these cravings are often minimized or completely reduced.

Can you take Inositol whilst pregnant?

Studies have shown that supplementing with inositol while pregnant reduces the chances of developing gestational diabetes. We know that those with PCOS are at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes, supplementing can therefore be an effective way of reducing this risk.

What is the recommended dose?

Most studies with positive effects have used doses of between 2000-4000mg per day, split into one dose in the morning and one dose in the evening.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects are uncommon but may include nausea, flatulence or diarrhoea.

I’ve seen great results in myself and many of my clients when adding inositol to their PCOS care plan. It’s important to note that taking inositol alone will not improve all PCOS symptoms, for best results it’s important to make lifestyle changes in conjunction with supplementing.

I've added a few brands below who provide high quality inositol supplements containing the recommended dose.

The links below are affiliate links which means we earn a small commission from any sales made at no extra cost to you.

MyOva Inositol supplement

Inofolic Alpha

Free soul inositol supplement


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Uncover the 3 simple, highly-effective steps used by myself and all my clients to improve their PCOS symptoms, regain their confidence and live a life they love with PCOS (without dieting). 

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