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Could inositol benefit your fertility?

Inositol has gained alot of attention in recent years with many wondering whether they should be adding it into their supplement regimens. Like with all supplements, it's important for us to look closely at what the research is telling us before considering taking a new supplement and seeing if the benefits it proposes are relevant for you and outweigh any risks.



What is Inositol?


Inositol is found naturally in various foods, particularly fruits, beans, grains, and nuts. It belongs to the vitamin B complex group and is often referred to as vitamin B8. Inositol plays a crucial role in cellular signalling, insulin sensitivity, and neurotransmitter function in the body. The good news is that if you are consuming a diet rich in nutrients for fertility and diversity then it's likely that you're meeting your baseline requirement of inositol.


How could inositol benefit fertility?


Several studies have suggested potential benefits of inositol supplementation for fertility:


  1. Improving Ovulatory Function: Research suggests that inositol supplementation may help regulate menstrual cycles and improve ovulatory function in women with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) [1]. This could be because inositol acts like an insulin sensitizer to improve the body's response to insulin- a problem that many with PCOS struggle with.

  2. Enhancing Egg Quality: Some studies have indicated that inositol supplementation may have a positive impact on egg quality, potentially improving the chances of successful conception and healthy pregnancy [2]. The reason for this improvement could be due to the role it plays in the maturation and development of the egg in preparation for ovulation.

  3. Supporting Male Fertility: Inositol supplementation has also been investigated for its potential benefits in improving sperm parameters, such as sperm count, motility, and morphology, in men with infertility, although more research is needed in this area [3].

  4. Egg Quality and IVF Success: In women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, supplementation with inositol has been associated with improved egg quality, embryo quality, and pregnancy rates [4].

Should You Consider Taking Inositol?


Inositol can be obtained from both dietary sources and supplements. Natural food sources rich in inositol include citrus fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, and leafy green vegetables. Before even considering if you should add in an inositol supplement, there are many important foundation steps to cover off first which will have far more of an impact on your fertility if you aren't addressing these things already, including; screening for nutrient deficiencies and checking biochemistry for underlying issues (e.g. thyroid, iron deficiencies), meeting baseline nutrient requirements, adding in a high quality prenatal multivitamin relevant to your requirements, and adjusting to a fertility nutrition plan to increase your intake of nutrients necessary for reproductive health while minimizing your intake of harmful food and drinks. I recommend downloading my FREE fertility checklist to see an outline of some of the most important baseline changes that you can make in improving your fertility naturally.


If you have PCOS, ovulatory dysfunction or other reproductive health conditions then it could be worth having a conversation with your healthcare provider or fertility specialist to see if inositol might be right for you. It's also important to be aware of the potential risks associated with any supplement that you are taking and the side effects of high doses. Too much inositol has been associated with digestive upset like nausea and bloating. It can also interact with other medications and supplements and testing during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been widely explored yet so make sure to check on the best dose and timing for you before beginning.


Summary:


Inositol supplements could potentially enhance fertility, particularly in individuals with conditions such as PCOS or ovulatory dysfunction. While research suggests potential benefits, it's essential to approach supplementation with caution and consult with a healthcare provider


Even if inositol may benefit you, its important to consider if there are other more impactful changes to consider making first before adding in another supplement. If you are unsure of where to begin then a great place is to check out my FREE fertility nutrition masterclass. I talk you through 5 of the most common fertility nutrition mistakes that I see on a regular basis and my step by step process to avoid making these mistakes yourself. Click here to register and watch right now.



References:

  1. Facchinetti, F., Bizzarri, M., Benvenga, S., D'Anna, R., Lanzone, A., Soulage, C., Di Renzo, G.C., Hod, M., Cavalli, P., Chiu, T.T., Laganà, A.S. (2020). Results from the International Consensus Conference on myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol in Obstetrics and Gynecology: the link between metabolic syndrome and PCOS. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 24(1), 29-49.

  2. Unfer, V., Carlomagno, G., Dante, G., Facchinetti, F. (2012). Effects of myo-inositol in women with PCOS: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Gynecological Endocrinology, 28(7), 509-515.

  3. Condorelli, R.A., La Vignera, S., Bellanca, S., Vicari, E., Calogero, A.E. (2011). Myoinositol: does it improve sperm mitochondrial function and sperm motility? Urology, 78(5), 1298-1303.

  4. Ciotta, L., Stracquadanio, M., Pagano, I., Formuso, C., Marci, R., Palumbo, M.A. (2011). Effects of myo-inositol supplementation on oocyte’s quality in PCOS patients: a double-blind trial. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 15(5), 509-514.


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