Obesity is plaguing the world these days thanks to the unhealthy lifestyle and busy lives. It comes with a host of other diseases and medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiac issues and joint problems. People as young as in their early 20s are suffering from these problems. Obesity is definitely an alarming condition to go through. Your health is your priority and you always have to make sure that it stays in top condition so that you live your life to the fullest.
If you want to avoid paying all those hefty hospital bills, courtesy the weight gain problems, then you better work your best to stay in shape and be at your best weight. In the age of body positivity, we forget that a healthy weight matters a lot so make sure that you don’t cross a point of no return. People suffering from medical conditions that make it harder to lose weight despite the diet and exercise such as thyroid problems or hormonal issues such as PCOS need to use extra supplements to boost their metabolism and lose weight easily. One great supplement that everyone in the healthcare community is raving about is inositol.
Inositol is a kind of carbohydrate that is present in most animals and plant tissues. It is basically a vitamin-like substance that is present in most plants and animals. It is also produced by your body and it can also be produced in the laboratory in its synthetic form. The most common types are Myo-inositol and D-chiro inositol. Inositol is considered to be the crème de la crème in the world of carbohydrates and is synthesized from sugar yet not considered traditional sugar.
Inositol is a chemical compound similar to that of a vitamin and was earlier thought to be part of B complex vitamins. But later on, European scientists discovered that our bodies produce their own inositol and so it was not considered a vitamin in its true form anymore. Some health conditions cause people to produce less of inositol so they would need supplementation.
Besides, supplements, you can also have certain foods that are high in inositol such as brown rice, nuts, leafy greens, whole grain flour, soy flour and citrus fruits. Lecithin granules and its other sources also produce inositol.
This vitamin-like compound is present in high concentrations of the brain and plays a part in functioning with many neurotransmitters. Although healthy brain function is its main purpose, it has a host of other benefits that you can have if you include it in your diet.
- Helps in regulating mood and nerve signals
- Helps regulating liver and brain health, weight loss
- Helps in conditions, like PCOS insulin sensitivity and fertility
Inositol works by helping your body use its insulin properly. The pancreas produces this hormone and releases it into the bloodstream. Insulin makes the cells in our blood use and absorb glucose (sugar) thereby giving us the energy we need.
When you eat food, the body breaks it down into glucose and stores it up as energy or for later use. Your body increases the production of insulin if there is an increase in glucose levels. The insulin receptors then bind themselves to the surface of the cells. When your insulin receptors bind themselves, they also release and unlock other messengers to the cell that tell it to take the glucose from the blood.
People that suffer from insulin resistance have a hard time having their glucose extracted out from the cells and eventually end up getting diabetes because the glucose in the blood remains high. This results in the pancreas producing more Inositol plays its role as a secondary messenger that helps the insulin to attach itself to the cells and perform its function.
Many people these days are taking inositol for weight loss. Many studies have shown that inositol helps you lose weight especially in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
Your body needs to have a fast metabolism in order to reduce and maintain its weight. You can’t lose weight if you a low metabolism as you will feel lethargic and low on energy all the time. Apart from having a healthy diet and an exercise regimen, there are still some deficiencies that prevent people from losing weight and one of them is due to the lack of high inositol levels in their bodies.
If you take inositol with other B complex vitamins, it makes the liver break down the fats in your body easily. If you take it with choline, other forms of inositol such as lecithin, then it is a powerful combination to combat fat right at its source.
Let’s find out how inositol helps you lose weight:
1. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
One of the major reasons for weight gain for people is high levels of insulin or insulin sensitivity. One of the most crucial ways to ensure that inositol encourages weight loss is how it makes the cells respond to insulin when the pancreas releases it.
Most people that have inositol deficiency suffer from insulin resistance so research has found a direct link with inositol and insulin. Women with PCOS are taking inositol these days to lose weight and improve their insulin levels and fertility as well. People with type 2 diabetes have also reported having shown improvement in their blood glucose and insulin levels as well.
It might not seem like a serious condition on the surface, but insulin resistance causes one to gain weight by eating the slightest of carbs. White bread, rice, pasta and any other high flour or sugar-based products can drastically increase and spike up your insulin levels.
2. Reduces Emotional Eating
Inositol affects the nervous system immensely in the long run. It raises the serotonin (neurotransmitter) levels in the brain which boosts the mood and enhances the ability to process different emotions. When people are stressed out, they tend to binge eat to make themselves feel better. This is because it is a psychological way of rewarding oneself and activating the brain’s pleasure centers. Inositol curbs these negative emotions by taking control. It lifts the mood and one does not feel like overeating anything or snacking on junk food.
3. Reduces Stress And Anxiety
Inositol has the ability to suppress cortisol, which is a stress hormone that gets released when one is ridden with anxiety. It can also lead to depression that can be detrimental to one’s health.
Regular use of inositol can change your behavior patterns and make you more productive. When people are depressed, they usually don’t like to get out of bed or do any exercise. When inositol takes into effect and changes the mood, one can be active all day and increase the chances of losing weight by tenfold.
Exercise has also been linked to healthy brain activity and happiness. When one exercises, the brain releases endorphins namely dopamine. It makes you feel happy and in control of yourself. Your cells get oxygenated and the brain remains healthy as well making it less susceptible to get depressed. This in turn, makes it a healthy cycle.
4. Inositol With Choline
Choline is yet another compound that is present in the body. But since the body makes it in very little amount, you have to get it from other sources such as meat, vegetables and supplements. It helps in transferring and the synthesis of lipids in the body. It is an essential nutrient that has many benefits. If it is paired up with inositol then the results are doubled and more powerful than ever in losing weight.
When you take inositol with choline, it helps the body in fat transportation and emulsification. This combination is also good for brain health. Inositol and choline create lecithin. Lecithin helps in transporting and distributing fats in the body along with its emulsification process. Lecithin is a very important part of the cells because it is integrated with the cellular membranes.
Many researchers claim that that lecithin helps you to break down the body fat through the liver and flushing it out of the body. However, it can only work if you are also taking other measures for ensuring a healthy weight loss.
Doctors recommend using 2-4 grams of inositol every day in the form of a pill or in powder form. This is to ensure fertility and hormone control if you are taking inositol for brain health, then just take to take 12-20 grams every day.
It is quite easy to maintain high levels of inositol in your body because your body produces plenty of it unless you suffered from insulin resistance, PCOS and other health conditions.
It is recommended to take its supplements as they really help your body function at its optimum level. However, it is a given that you must consult with your doctor first prior to taking it as it may interact with other medications that you might be taking. If this combination is taken before sleep, it is also known to fight and burn fight while you sleep.
For general and weight loss purposes, doctors recommend to only use 2-4 grams until instructed otherwise.
Most people take inositol in the form of a powder or capsules. The powder is easily dissolved in liquids so you can easily have them in juice or water. You can take the powder according to the instructions it comes with. But if you are taking capsules, then you might need to take anywhere from 4-8 capsules to reach the 4 gram dose.
A popular way of taking inositol supplements is mixing it up with a green or fruit smoothie.
The supplements are free from any side effects so they can be taken easily by almost everyone. People who are addicted to the following products should definitely consider taking inositol:
- Sulfa drugs
There has been much research done on inositol particularly for women suffering from PCOS. In the past few years, many studies have proven that inositol has helped to relieve some symptoms of PCOS. The primary reason is the ability to control insulin levels. High insulin levels give rise to other hormones and cause an imbalance in the hormonal system. When there are insulin levels, the body produces more androgens and testosterone, these lead to masculine features and also weight gain in women.
Studies have shown that it lowers the triglycerides in the bloodstream that lead to belly fat. It also lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and prevents cardiac issues as well.
If you are not sure if inositol is the right supplement for you to lose weight, then these helpful reviews by people who have tried and tested it should convince you:
I have been using an inositol and choline supplement for the last 4 months. I didn’t see any significant changes in the first month to be honest but after the second month people started noticing a difference and started complimenting me. I noticed elevated energy levels that helped me exercise so I guess that must be it. It really does works! –Eric
I used to have high cholesterol levels and a big belly. Thanks to inositol, my LDL dropped a lot and also lost around 16 lbs in the first 6 weeks. I must admit that I dieted and exercised as well but then again I did that in the past as well but the results were not the same as this one. -Sandra
Since doctors consider inositol to be a safe supplement, it should definitely be taken for weight loss purposes especially by people who are having difficulties to lose weight due to hormonal problems. However, you should keep mind that it is not some miracle worker and the results may vary from person to person. It is always best to consult your doctor before you start taking inositol and never to replace it with any other medication that you are already taking.
- A Potential Therapeutic Role of Myoinositol in the Metabolic and Cardiovascular Profile of PCOS Iranian Women Aged between 30 and 40 Years
- Effects of Inositol(s) in Women with PCOS: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
- Effect on Insulin-Stimulated Release of D-Chiro-Inositol-Containing Inositolphosphoglycan Mediator during Weight Loss in Obese Women with and without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- New Therapeutic Approaches in Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome Associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Myo-inositol effects in women with PCOS: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
- Effects of a New Flavonoid and Myo-Inositol Supplement on Some Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Risk in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Trial
- Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial.