Inositol Weight Loss Benefits: What to Know

Last modified on September 7th, 2023

There are potential inositol weight loss benefits, but there are also some things to know before you try this supplement, which we detail below.

What Is Inositol?

Inositol is a carbohydrate naturally occurring in the body and some food.

There are different forms, and every molecule has a chemical structure similar to glucose, the primary sugar in the blood.  

You’ll often hear it referred to as vitamin B8, but it’s not a vitamin.

Inositol is found in foods high in fiber and citrus fruits and is a supplement to help with metabolic and hormone-related symptoms and conditions.

Inositol is also called myo-inositol, inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), and D-chiro-inositol.

The Benefits of Inositol

Some of the general benefits of inositol include:

  • Effects on serotonin: Inositol affects processes that make your neurotransmitters, which relay messages within your brain. Serotonin is one of the key neurotransmitters affected by inositol. Evidence shows that because of the serotonin effects, inositol supplements may help with anxiety disorders, depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and similar conditions.
  • Insulin sensitivity: With insulin resistance, your body has problems responding to insulin, and it’s associated with metabolic syndrome. Inositol can produce molecules that play a role in insulin action in cells, improving insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance.
  • Fertility: PCOS is a condition that causes a woman’s body to produce high amounts of certain hormones, and it can cause infertility issues. Insulin sensitivity is thought to be one of the reasons that women with PCOS have reduced fertility, so inositol may be helpful for this reason. In some studies, inositol has been found to improve ovary function and fertility in women with PCOS.
  • Depression: We talked a bit about the mental health benefits of inositol above, and these extend to depression as well. In research, taking around 12 grams of inositol daily for several weeks reduced depression symptoms compared to a placebo, likely because it impacts neurotransmitter production.
  • Blood pressure: In several studies, inositol has helped lead to small blood pressure reductions
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What We Know About Inositol Weight Loss Benefits

If you want to learn more about inositol weight loss benefits, there may be some science to back this up.

Most inositol supplements combine d-chiro-inositol and myo-inositol with a 40:1 ratio.

Since it’s a natural sugar, you might wonder why inositol weight loss benefits exist.

It’s likely due to insulin.

When you eat, your body begins breaking the food down into sugar.

This is blood glucose.

Then, your pancreas is meant to release insulin that helps your body move sugar out of your blood and turn it into energy the rest of your body can use.

If you have a metabolic condition such as PCOS or diabetes, your pancreas might struggle to make insulin.

Your cells might have a harder time using insulin, which is insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is highly correlated with higher weights, but you can also have insulin resistance even if your BMI is normal.

However, if it goes untreated, insulin resistance can still become weight gain and, ultimately, diabetes, even in people who weren’t initially overweight.

There are inositol weight loss benefits because it acts like insulin.

Myo inositol benefits come from the fact that it replaces insulin’s effects, so even if you’ve stopped responding to it as a supplement, the inositol can still perform a similar job, lowering your blood glucose.

Deficiencies in D-chiro-inositol and Myo-inositol have been associated with insulin resistance, complications of diabetes, and conditions like Alzheimer’s, depression, and bipolar disorder.

If you combine inositol with other strategies to lose weight, such as diet and exercise, studies show it’s even more effective.

In one study of PCOS patients who had higher weights, taking inositol supplements over six months led to better outcomes in restoring menstrual cycles and faster weight loss.

Studies have also shown that supplementing can reduce the risk of developing other metabolic disorders if you have PCOS, such as diabetes, and it may help prevent gestational diabetes.

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Other Inositol Weight Loss Benefits

While taking a myo-inositol or d-chiro-inositol supplement can help you lose weight directly because it replicates the effects of insulin, there are also indirect ways it can help.

For example, by increasing serotonin levels, you may be able to lose weight. When you have balanced serotonin levels, feel happier, and get better sleep, you’ll have more energy and feel fuller even when you eat less food.

Serotonin is nature’s appetite suppressor, and it can also reduce cravings and help you feel less anxiety and more stable so that you can focus on your well-being.

Inositol supports healthy hormone signaling, so it may have thyroid benefits. Low myo-inositol levels can raise the risk of developing hyperthyroidism, which is associated with weight gain and having a harder time losing weight.

Inositol affects leptin, which is considered one of the key regulators of body fat. Leptin is secreted from fat cells.

It’s supposed to provide feedback to your brain that manages your appetite and the calories you burn. If you have something called leptin resistance, it means your hormonal system is dysregulated.

A dysregulated hormonal system affecting leptin makes it hard to lose weight.

Inositol, specifically Myo-inositol, is one of the few supplements that can help treat leptin resistance.

Another way inositol for weight loss is beneficial is because the supplement can affect sex hormones. It can decrease estrogen, improve estrogen dominance symptoms, reduce testosterone levels in women who have PCOS, and increase sex hormone-binding protein synthesis.

Estrogen is a hormone with a significant influence on fat cells. High estrogen causes fat growth and weight gain. High estrogen levels can also affect your mood and cortisol levels.

Both can play a role in things like motivation to work out, weight gain and loss, and appetite.

Myo-inositol can normalize hormone levels and benefit how your body regulates fat production.

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How To Take Inositol for Weight Loss

Overall, inositol supplements are considered safe because it’s a naturally occurring substance, and most people experience few, if any, side effects.

Consider taking up to 2,000 mg twice daily if weight loss is your goal, and always speak to your doctor first. In studies, participants have been given up to four grams of inositol daily to help with weight loss, especially concerning PCOS. Four grams would be equal to two 2,000 mg doses.

When you’re taking this as a supplement, it’s best to take it on an empty stomach. You might take inositol at night because it helps people get better quality sleep because of the effects on neurotransmitters.

How Much Inositol Per Day for Weight Loss?

Studies have used up to four grams of inositol daily for weight loss. That’s 4,000 mg.

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Inositol Weight Loss Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of inositol weight loss?

Inositol is considered safe for adults overall. The side effects are usually mild, if they occur at all, and might include headache, stomach upset, or dizziness. Most people who experience side effects of inositol take more than 12 grams a day.

Is metformin better than inositol for weight loss?

In one study of 128 women with PCOS taking 1500 mg of metformin or a combination of myo-d-chiro-inositol, the Myo+DCI group had significantly better weight reduction, pregnancy rates, and ovulation results than the metformin group.

They took the supplement metformin for three months.

Similar results have been found in other studies looking at patients with PCOS taking myo-inositol or metformin.

Metformin has also been found to have worse side effects.

How many mg of inositol for PCOS weight loss?

While the dosage of inositol you take depends on the product you use, overall, if you have PCOS based on current research, you might benefit from taking 1-4 mg a day. You may not see immediate improvements, but most women using inositol for PCOS weight loss see substantial benefits within three months.

Is inositol a fat burner?

Inositol has been shown to boost the production of adiponectin.

This hormone can boost metabolism and promote weight loss.

Overall, inositol loss benefits include its ability to stimulate the breakdown of fat cells and boost metabolism, so it’s fair to call it a fat burner.

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