When it comes to weight loss there are very few supplements that actually work or that have scientific evidence proving their efficacy.
Because there are so few, certain supplements tend to stand out above the rest.
Myoinositol is one of these supplements and it works because it impacts hormones and acts as a secondary messenger in your cells.
Myoinositol not only helps with weight loss but it can also be used to treat sex hormone imbalances, PCOS and mood disorders.
Learn how to effectively and properly use this supplement here:
What is Myoinositol + How it Benefits your Body
So what is Myoinositol and why is it even worth talking about?
Well, it turns out that this sugar alcohol (yes it's actually a sugar and about half as sweet as table sugar) has some seriously beneficial side effects if used correctly.
Myoinositol is the most common form of inositol and most of its benefits come from how it interacts with cellular function.
Myoinositol helps regulate a number of cellular processes and is a critically important part of the phospholipid cell membrane (the protective barrier of each cell in your body).
The benefits of myoinositol stem from how it interacts with cells.
In fact, myoinositol used to be considered a member of the B vitamin family (formerly vitamin B8) due to its powerful effects on brain tissue, stress, and mood.
But how do we go from what it does inside the cell to the benefits of weight loss and treatment for PCOS?
Most of the benefits from myoinositol come from how it interacts with various hormones in your body.
You probably know by now that obesity is the result of hormone imbalance (not caloric imbalance).
The same is true for PCOS, which is really just a constellation of multiple hormone imbalances which cause a multitude of symptoms for patients.
So the real power comes from the effects it has on these hormones.
These effects don't stop at weight loss or treating PCOS, however, and you can see a complete list of the benefits of myoinositol below.
The main benefits of Myoinositol include:
- Helps with weight loss through hormone balancing (1)
- May improve blood pressure (2)
- Normalizes cholesterol levels
- Improve blood pressure
- Reduces insulin resistance
- Increases protective cholesterol (HDL)
- Reduces acne and hirsutism (3)
- Reduces depression & improves other mood disorders (4) (such as anxiety with panic attacks)
- Improves sleeping patterns
- Improves fertility (5)
- Reduces symptoms of PMS/PMDD (6)
We will dig into these benefits in more detail, but first I want to mention two other very important points bout myoinositol.
Myoinositol is a very benign and naturally occurring substance with very few side effects.
Myoinositol can also safely be combined with medications or used by itself for those who prefer a more natural approach.
Because of these attributes, it has tremendous benefits for certain people and should seriously be considered by many people.
This nutrient is considered "non-essential" which means that you can function without it, but when used in the right amounts you can get benefits that otherwise wouldn't be available.
This allows for a potential benefit if used in supraphysiologic doses for short periods of time.
3 Main Ways Myoinositol Helps with Weight Loss
Let's discuss the benefits of myoinositol as it relates to weight loss first...
As you know both weight gain and weight loss are both regulated through powerful hormone messengers in the body.
These "fat hormones" send messages to your brain and tissues to modulate your basal metabolic rate, caloric burn and where and how much fat you should be storing.
If you are serious about losing weight then it becomes necessary to impact these hormones to achieve long-lasting weight loss.
#1. Improves leptin and treats leptin resistance
Leptin is probably the single most important regulator of body fat in your body.
Leptin is a hormone that is secreted from fat cells and is supposed to feedback to your brain to help manage your appetite and how many calories you burn.
Leptin resistance is a state of dysregulation of this hormonal system and one that creates an environment which makes weight loss incredibly difficult unless treated.
Leptin resistance is also very common among patients with hypothyroidism and other patient groups who have difficulty losing weight despite eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Leptin resistance has been shown to cause a condition known as hypothalamic obesity disorder which is far more common than previously thought.
Myoinositol is very important because it is one of the few supplements that can actually help treat leptin resistance.
Very few medications and supplements have been shown to have efficacy when reducing leptin levels, but studies have shown that myoinositol helps lower insulin levels and keeps those levels low after weight loss (7).
One of the major reasons that patients gain weight gain after losing weight is because leptin levels rise after this weight loss which triggers hormonal changes which cause the body to regain the weight.
Taking myoinositol blocks this rise in leptin after weight loss and may help your body KEEP off the weight that you lose.
#2. Reduces insulin resistance
Myoinositol also works by acting as a putative mediator of insulin.
One of the theories for the development of insulin resistance (8) is due to a deficiency in myoinositol.
This theory was created due to the powerful effects that myoinositol has on insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.
Other studies have shown that taking myoinositol prior to a meal high in glucose will actually reduce the rise in insulin (9) after the meal.
This is important because it is this mechanism (the rise in insulin after meals) which creates insulin resistance.
These studies aren't just limited to women either, they have been done in children and adolescents showing that myoinositol has benefit among almost all age ranges.
But why do we care about insulin anyway?
Insulin, like leptin, is considered a hormone which regulates fat in your body.
High levels of insulin in your body send signals to your fat cells to grow and store extra calories for later use.
Insulin resistance is a state of excess insulin in the body - meaning you have high insulin at baseline.
Consuming food with high levels of insulin directs that energy straight into your fat cells.
Insulin is also implicated in the pathogenesis (the creation) of other issues such as estrogen dominance, low testosterone, PCOS and even heart disease.
As many as 50% of American's are insulin resistance - which means there is a high chance that you might have it as well.
Reducing insulin is required if you are insulin resistance and interested in losing weight.
#3. Balances sex hormones
Lastly (and perhaps more importantly) is that myoinositol can directly impact your sex hormones.
I'm talking about testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone (specifically in women, but it also helps men as well).
Myoinositol has been shown to help in the following ways:
- Decrease estrogen levels and improve estrogen dominance (10)
- Reduces LH production which reduces testosterone (especially in women with PCOS)
- Increases sex hormone binding protein synthesis
- Increases ovulation and normalizes the menstrual cycle
But why do these hormones matter for weight loss?
Well, it turns out that estrogen is a powerful hormone that influences your fat cells.
High estrogen causes weight gain and fat growth (especially in the breasts, gluteal and thigh region).
High estrogen also causes changes to your mood and influences other hormones like cortisol.
Many women in the US suffer from estrogen dominance due to poor diet, insulin resistance and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Taking myoinositol can help normalize these hormones and therefore improve fat regulation.
Myoinositol, PCOS & Infertility
While myoinositol can be used for weight loss in many patients, it has some very beneficial effects for patients with PCOS.
You can think of PCOS as a combination of two major problems:
#1. Hormone imbalances (11) -> high estrogen, high testosterone (and androgens), low progesterone, infertility, insulin resistance
#2. Metabolic dysfunction (12) -> High cholesterol, weight gain, high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, impaired glucose metabolism
The benefit of myoinositol is that it affects BOTH of these areas.
We already discussed both the hormonal effects (reducing insulin, improving estrogen, normalizing androgens) as well as the metabolic effects (reducing blood sugar, improving cholesterol and blood pressure).
The net effect is that myoinositol can also help with weight loss in patients with PCOS, reduce acne, improve mood and even reduce male patterned hair growth.
Another benefit is that myoinositol can be combined with existing therapies (such as metformin) and doesn't interfere with these medications.
It's even better tolerated than metformin and doesn't cause any GI issues.
In addition, it might be the treatment of choice for patients who are seeking to get pregnant or want to improve fertility.
Because myoinositol is one of the few treatments for PCOS which actually treats the symptoms and the root cause of PCOS without negative side effects.
Many patients with PCOS use birth control medication to control their side effects, but obviously, it's very difficult to get pregnant while on these medications!
Myoinositol offers a better solution for people who wish to get pregnant because it improves fertility and it is very safe to use while trying to conceive.
But how does myoinositol compare to metformin when it comes to improving fertility and increasing pregnancy rates?
Studies have shown that myoinositol is at least AS effective as metformin (13) at improving fertility rates, and it comes with a much better safety profile as well.
How to use Myoinositol Powder + The best Supplement
In order to get the benefits of this sugar alcohol, you will want to make sure you are using it correctly.
Like other supplements and medications that means you need to get a high-quality product and use it at the right dose for the proper length of time.
When it comes to myoinositol that usually means getting it in the powder form.
Because as a powder you are able to take higher doses (without the need to take 5+ capsules each day).
And remember - myoinositol is the most common form of inositol so you will need to take an inositol supplement at higher doses to get higher concentrations of myoinositol.
I only bring this up so it doesn't confuse you when you go to purchase myoinositol and you are instead getting an "inositol" supplement.
How to Supplement with Myoinositol
Why I like it
Improves insulin resistance, blood sugar levels, and insulin sensitivity
Helps reduce weight loss through hormonal balance
One of the few supplements to directly lower leptin levels and treat leptin resistance
Very well tolerated with very few side effects, can be used with other medications & therapies
How to tell if you Need it
Patients with the following conditions should consider using Myoinositol:
- Patients interesting in weight loss or those with weight loss resistance
- Patients with PCOS, high androgens (testosterone or DHEA) or estrogen dominance
- Patients suffering from infertility due to PCOS or endometriosis
- Those with insulin resistance, high fasting blood sugar or blood sugar issues
- Patients with a personal history of type II diabetes
- Patients with insulin resistance (as evidenced by elevated fasting insulin greater than 5)
- Patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (as evidenced by AST/ALT values > 20)
- Patients with known or suspected leptin resistance
How to Use
- Take up to 2,000mg twice per day (for a total of 4,000mg per day) -> 2 scoops per day of the supplement listed below
- Continue treatment for 3-6 months (or as long as you are noticing improvement)
- For best results combine with other supplements designed to reduce leptin and insulin
- You can also increase inositol bioavailability by using MIC injections (discussed below)
My Recommended Brand and Product:
I recommend using powder so that you have more control over your dose. If you prefer you can also try using capsules.
Injection Inositol with B12 + MIC Injections
Lastly, it's worth discussing a second (and more effective) way to get inositol into your system.
The second way is by using MIC + B12 injections.
MIC stands for methionine, inositol, and choline.
The inositol (along with the other nutrients) may explain why so many people swear by using MIC B12 shots when they are trying to lose weight.
We aren't as concerned about the other nutrients in this cocktail except to say that they compliment inositol very well and should be considered if your primary goal is weight loss.
The real benefit of using MIC B12 shots is that you bypass the first-pass metabolism of the liver and you can get inositol into your system much quicker and at unmetabolized doses.
Who should use MIC B12 shots?
If you have PCOS and/or you are trying to lose weight then this might be an option worth considering.
The best way to use these injections is once per week and in conjunction with the oral inositol supplement listed above.
Remember, inositol is well tolerated so there isn't a risk of overdose here.
You should be looking to get at least 50mg of Inositol in each injection of MIC + B12.
You can read more about how to use B12 injections for weight loss here.
Back to you
The bottom line?
Myoinositol is a powerful sugar alcohol and supplement that can be added to your existing weight loss regimen to help you lose weight and improve insulin/blood sugar control.
It also has serious benefits to patients with PCOS and other sex hormone imbalances like endometriosis, PMS and/or PMDD.
If you decide to use myoinositol make sure you purchase it in the powder form and use high enough dosages for at least 3-6 months.
Lastly, if you want to improve absorption and dosage you can try using MIC plus B12 injections weekly.
Now I want to hear from you...
Have you used myoinositol before?
Did it work for you? Why or why not?
Leave your comments below!
References (Click to Expand)
This post was most recently updated on February 20th, 2019