Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of ovulation disorders, hyperandrogenism, and infertility due to ovulatory dysfunction. It affects more than 7% of chilbearing age women.
PCOS is also associated with obesity in 80% of cases and with metabolic syndrome with insulin resistance in 30-40% of cases. The hyperglycemia causes and inhibition of hepatic production of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), leading to an increase of free androgens, and insulin resistance increases the production of androgens as well.
Use of Myo-inositol
Myo-inositol is a natural insulin sensitizer that is abundant in the brain and some other tissues. It mediates cell signal transduction in response to different hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors.
Different food categories contain high concentrations of inositols, including fruits, beans, corn and nuts.
In women with PCOS, impaired inositol metabolism contributes to insulin resistance. Myo-inositol decreases body weight, leptin secretion and increases HDL cholesterol.
Studies by Zacche and colleagues and Minozzi et al., shown that myo-inositol leads to a decrease in luteinizing Hormone (LH) and androgen levels, as well as a decrease in insulin resistance. It is believed that myo-inositol can re-establish ovulatory menstrual cycles.
Studies have also shown that the use of myo-inositol administered up to 3 months prior to the start of ovarian stimulation, during in vitro fertilization (IVF), reduces the doses of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) required for the follicular response, and increases oocyte and embryo quality.
Myo-inositol at a dose of 4 g per day (2 g twice per day), 3 months prior to ovarian stimulation, is effective in normalizing ovarian function. It has also shown to be an effective, secure and cost-effective alternative in the treatment of PCOS.
Merviel, P., James, P., Bouée, S. et al. Impact of myo-inositol treatment in women with polycystic ovary syndrome in assisted reproductive technologies. Reprod Health 18, 13 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-021-01073-3
Parthasarathy, L. K.; Seelan, R. S.; Tobias, C.; Casanova, M. F.; Parthasarathy, R. N. (2006). Mammalian inositol 3-phosphate synthase: its role in the biosynthesis of brain inositol and its clinical use as a psychoactive agent. Subcellular Biochemistry. Vol. 39. pp. 293–314. doi:10.1007/0-387-27600-9_12. ISBN 978-0-387-27599-4. PMID 17121280.