Much has been said in recent months about inositols and taking it as a supplement for different uses. Use is becoming more common especially among young girls and, as is often the case, the information on the web is never entirely clear.
What is this substance? Is it safe? Is it really useful or is it just one of the many fads launched on the web?
Let’s try to delve deeper.
Inositol: what it is
First of all, it should be specified that there is not just one inositol, but it is better to speak of inositols: there are in fact 9 different types of this substance. Usually, the term inositol refers to the most common form, myo-inositol, which, besides being the most widely represented in the human body, is also the most easily absorbed and best utilised by our bodies. The other molecule of particular interest to us is D-chiro inositol.
Inositols are therefore substances that are physiologically present in the body and contribute to its proper functioning.
What inositols do in our bodies
Inositols are involved in several mechanisms that regulate our homeostasis, meaning our delicate equilibrium.
Myo-inositol and D-chiro inositol are particularly present on ovarian and pancreatic levels. In a healthy woman, the ovaries contain 99% myo-inositol and only 1% D-chiro inositol; this ratio is very important for the physiological function of the body.
In the presence of certain disorders, mainly involving the above-mentioned organs, a different ratio between the two types of inositols can be observed. This can cause obvious discomfort to women, which can impact their quality of life.
In such cases, one can at first consider introducing foods rich in inositols (yeast, citrus fruits, cereals, nuts, …) and in the event of a deficiency, use food supplements containing inositols, also considering their safety of use.
It is always advisable to consult a professional who can assess each person’s specific situation and identify the correct formula according to individual need.
How should you use inositol?
The Ministry of Health recommends, for food supplements, not to exceed an intake of 4 grams per day of inositols. Ideally, myo-inositol should be divided into 2 daily doses of 2 grams each, 12 hours apart.
Various supplements containing myo-inositol, D-chiro inositol or a mixture of both are commercially available. To reach maximum dosage, the powder form is usually suggested, which you can find in packets or in handy stick packs.
Curated by Dr. Silvia Oberti