The benefits of myo-inositol for PCOS

8 min
Updated Mar 27th, 2024

Table of contents

PCOS can be a debilitating condition: both physically and emotionally. So any research into ways to reduce your symptoms is a welcome read. Many studies have found that taking myo-inositol is effective in treating PCOS symptoms, as well as supporting fertility. Let’s find out more about how myo-inositol can help you.

What is myo-inositol?

Myo-inositol is a type of inositol — one of nine. It’s a naturally occurring carbocyclic sugar. For a long time it was considered to be a member of the B group of vitamins, but it’s ‘vitamin-like’ rather than a vitamin, as it’s not considered to be an essential nutrient. The firm benefits it offers for managing PCOS are very clear.

Myo-inositol is found naturally in foods such as nuts, beans, fruit and grains. But with a busy lifestyle, it’s hard to make sure you get the optimum amount of myo-inositol you need from food alone. What’s more, some people with PCOS have been found to be myo-inositol resistant due to poor intestinal absorption. These problems are overcome with Inofolic Alpha, which contains just the amount of myo-inositol you need, with the addition of alpha-lactalbumin to help your body to absorb it.

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What are the key benefits of myo-inositol for PCOS?

When you’re trying to manage your PCOS symptoms, you want to know exactly how myo-inositol can benefit you — backed by science. The following key benefits all help your PCOS management, whether you’re trying for a baby or just want to improve your symptoms day to day. 

Improves insulin resistance

The main reason myo-inositol is so useful for PCOS is that it helps the cellular response to insulin signals impacting your blood sugar. In fact, studies have found that taking an inositol supplement is very effective at increasing insulin sensitivity.

In some people with PCOS, insulin resistance is present. When you have insulin resistance, your pancreas has to secrete increasingly larger amounts of insulin to achieve the same effect, leading to higher than normal insulin levels in your bloodstream (hyperinsulinemia).

Inositol acts as a go-between for hormones like insulin. In this way, it can help the cells become better at responding to insulin, which means that your blood sugar balance is improved and your body secretes less insulin.

Reduces androgen levels

In turn, your lower insulin levels (as a result of myo-inositol) may also mean lower levels of androgens. If you have PCOS, your androgen levels (such as testosterone) will be higher than the norm and this causes demoralising symptoms like acne and hirsutism (hair growth in the wrong places). But as the androgens decrease, you may notice your acne improving or disappearing completely and the excess hair growth disappearing. The reduced androgens also improve ovulation frequency.

Increases ovulation frequency and improves egg and embryo quality

PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility. So the fact that myo-inositol is linked to improved fertility is great to hear. It can improve the frequency of ovulation and also might improve your egg and embryo quality. It’s also been found to potentially improve pregnancy rates for those going through fertility treatment such as IVF. 

Decreases risk of cardiovascular disease

Many studies have also found evidence that myo-inositol decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease in women.. 

In one study, obese women with a poor lipid profile (an indicator for potential heart disease in the future) were given a combination of myo-inositol and D-chiro inositol. After six months of taking the inositols, their lipid profiles improved considerably. 

Regulates and restores menstrual cycles

If you have PCOS and you have irregular menstrual cycles and/or cycles with no ovulation, myo-inositol may also help. Those with PCOS may have different amounts of myo-inositol in the ovaries to those without PCOS. Studies have shown that by supplementing with inositol, the regularity of your menstrual cycle can be improved. 

Reduces metabolic syndrome

Unfortunately, women with PCOS can be at increased risk of metabolic syndrome (high blood sugar levels, obesity, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels and high blood pressure), which increases your risk of type II diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Insulin resistance is linked to metabolic factors like weight management and heart health, so myo-inositol reduces cholesterol levels and blood pressure by improving insulin sensitivity. 

How much myo-inositol should I be taking for PCOS?

The recommended dosage of myo-inositol is 4,000 mg/day, taken in two doses. Each sachet of Inofolic Alpha contains 2,000 mg myo-inositol. It also contains 50 mg alpha-lactalbumin (whey milk protein) and 200 mcg folic acid. It’s recommended to take two convenient sachets per day. Then you’ll know you’ve taken enough myo-inositol to benefit from it, with the alpha-lactalbumin to help your body to absorb it.

Does myo-inositol for PCOS make you gain weight?

Imbalances in your levels of inositols are associated with weight changes, including weight loss and weight gain. Studies have found these weight changes are linked primarily to how myo-inositol is metabolised in the body

Myo-inositol supplementation has been found to actually accelerate weight loss — likely due to its beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity (more insulin being produced can lead to weight gain). There are also PCOS supplements designed specifically for women who struggle with their weight as a result of the condition, such as Inofolic Alpha Plus. Of course, weight loss comes from a combination of diet and exercise, not simply through supplementation, but many studies have found that myo-inositol is linked to body mass index (BMI) reduction. 

What’s the evidence that myo-inositol benefits PCOS symptoms?

Inositol has taken social media by storm, with influencers raving about the benefits of supplementation — not just for PCOS. But with any supplementation, scientific evidence should be your guide. 

One study found that 12 weeks of myo-inositol supplementation improved reproductive hormone balance insulin sensitivity and restored the menstrual cycle in all women with PCOS.

Another study – focusing on the impact of myo-inositol treatment in women with polycystic ovary syndrome in assisted reproductive technologies – concluded that myo-inositol improves PCOS symptoms.

In fact, inositol has also been found to be safe as well as effective in the treatment of PCOS.

And one trial resulted in both the number and quality of oocytes (egg cells) being boosted in a group taking myo-inositol.

There are many other studies to explore and research continues, so it helps to stay informed and make certain you have the latest information.

Overall, research has found that inositol supplements improve insulin sensitivity, thereby potentially helping to improve menstrual cycle regularity, ovulation and pregnancy rates in women with PCOS. We think that myo-inositol is a bit of a hero — the testimonials speak for themselves. 


Ciotta, L. Effects of myo-inositol supplementation on oocyte’s quality in PCOS patients: a double blind trial. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 May;15(5):509-14.

Donne, M et al. Effects of three treatment modalities (diet, myoinositol or myoinositol associated with D-chiro-inositol) on clinical and body composition outcomes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2019; 23 (5): 2293-230

Fruzzetti F, Perini D, et al. Comparison of two insulin sensitizers, metformin and myo-inositol, in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Gynecol Endocrinol. 2017 Jan; 33 (1): 39-42

Greff, D et al. Inositol is an effective and safe treatment in polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology volume 21, Article number: 10 (2023)

Jamilian H, Jamilian M et al. Comparison of myo-inositol and metformin on mental health parameters and biomarkers of oxidative stress in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2018 Dec; 39(4): 307-314

Lepore, E et al.  Inositols Depletion and Resistance: Principal Mechanisms and Therapeutic Strategies. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(13), 6796.

Merviel, P et al. Impact of myo-inositol treatment in women with polycystic ovary syndrome in assisted reproductive technologies. Reproductive Health volume 18, Article number: 13 (2021) 

Simi G., Genazzani A. R., Obino M. E. R., et al. Inositol and in vitro fertilization with embryo transfer. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2017;2017:5. 

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