1. Effectively Treats PCOS and Improves Fertility
The most well-known and thoroughly researched benefit of inositol is its ability to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a very common syndrome that may affect up to 21 percent of women in a given population. Some reports find that as many as 72 percent of women who have PCOS have experienced some form of infertility versus about 16 percent of women without PCOS.
There have been at least 14 high-quality human trials testing the benefits of inositol for PCOS. A 2016 review of 12 of these randomised, controlled trials found that this supplement “is capable of restoring spontaneous ovulation and improving fertility in women with PCOS.
Inositol increases insulin activity in polycystic ovarian syndrome patients, which also may be one way this compound improves ovulation. This is also associated with decreases in cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure and may be the form of this supplement most capable of reducing hyperandrogenism.
Typically, the dosage for PCOS ranges from 2,500 milligrams per day to 6,000 milligrams per day. Some evidence suggests that the larger dose is more effective.
2. Combats Mental Illness
Because of its interaction with the central nervous system and neurotransmitter pathways, inositol has demonstrated possible effectiveness against certain types of mental illness. Since the true effect of most medications prescribed for mental illness is only about 10 percent–20 percent (and they come with a ton of undesirable side effects), natural alternatives to psychiatric drugs are an important part of future research in the mental health field.
It has been found to be effective in human trials for:
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
3. Beneficial in Cancer Treatment
Certain forms have been researched for their connection with cancer treatment and relief. While there is still not research to suggest that it is definitely an effective natural cancer treatment, it’s possible that some inositol-containing foods may help fight cancer — or, at least, help patients during treatment.
4. Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Diabetes
Inositol definitely seems to decrease insulin resistance in PCOS patients.
5. Combats Metabolic Syndrome
For certain women (even those who do not have PCOS), it seems possible that inositol could be beneficial in treating metabolic syndrome. In particular, postmenopausal women who have or are at risk for this condition may greatly profit from supplementing with it, according to a 2011 study involving 80 women.