Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol for Fertility and Reproductive Health

Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol ‚Äď Powerful Antioxidants for Fertility

Inositol is a sugar naturally produced within the body, although it was previously thought to be a B vitamin (B8). First isolated from muscle cells in 1850 by Johann Joseph Scherer, a German physician and chemist, he named it ‚Äúinosite,‚ÄĚ due to its sweet taste. In 1887, it was further studied and purified by French chemist and plant physiologist L√©on-Gervais-Marie Maquenne. There are nine forms of inositol, although two are most commonly utilized as dietary supplements: myo-inositol, the most abundant form in living organisms, which converts into the other form, D-chiro-inositol.¬†

Myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol are both antioxidants, nutrients that defend against oxidative damage and stress, which can build up as unstable molecules, called free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS), increase in number. While ROS have beneficial purposes, enabling ovulation and insulin utilization, in larger amounts, they can disrupt cellular health and function, including DNA and cell membranes. This oxidative stress and inflammation are also associated with diabetes, cancer, and other chronic conditions. These nutrients possess antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, occurring within the body’s endothelial cells, which form a single cell layer lining all blood vessels. 

D-chiro-inositol has been found to increase total antioxidant capacity. Their antioxidant benefits may enable these nutrients to prevent and treat metabolic and female and male reproductive disorders. Additionally, as antioxidants, myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol promote cellular function and energy production by supporting the health of the mitochondria, the cell‚Äôs ‚Äúpowerhouse.‚ÄĚ

 Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol Benefits for All

As inositol is produced by the human body from glucose, it’s not an essential nutrient. While mostly produced in the kidneys, followed by the brain and liver, it’s also present within the entire male reproductive system. Among their proposed benefits, myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol have been shown to promote cellular and hormonal function, insulin and glucose regulation, mental health, and mood. They may also improve metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that boost chronic disease risk in women and men, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

Please note: Myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol supplements may not be appropriate for every person or situation. It’s important to discuss any supplementation with your doctor before starting a new regimen.

Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol for Female Fertility

As antioxidants, myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol may impart hormonal benefits, including aromatase (an enzyme responsible for estrogen formation), follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH), and excess androgen levels.

Inositol may support balanced hormone levels by promoting insulin sensitivity. While insulin helps your body use sugar for energy, higher levels can damage hormonal function, particularly ovulation. As myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol are involved in regulating insulin and glucose, this may benefit polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of infertility in women. This inositol blend may also support gestational diabetes, as well as prevent neural tube defects in fetuses.

Alone, myo-inositol improves egg and embryo quality. The combination of myo-inositol and folic acid, an essential B vitamin and antioxidant, may also improve pregnancy rates for fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol for Male Fertility

Myo-inositol, and therefore D-chiro-inositol, are found throughout the male reproductive system. Both nutrients are necessary to regulate hormonal activity, including the chief male hormone, testosterone. Due to its mitochondrial support, this sugar helps ensure that sperm have the necessary energy to function. It’s vital for fertility, particularly spermatogenesis, the development of sperm. 

Indeed, these nutrients may improve sperm health, including count, motility, and morphology.

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Your Questions, Answered: Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol Fertility FAQ

  • Yes, due to its proposed ability to promote insulin sensitivity, inositol contributes to the body‚Äôs proper hormonal balance. Being antioxidants, myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol may support hormonal benefits shown to support female fertility. Among these are aromatase, an enzyme that regulates estrogen formation, and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH), which are integral to ovarian and testicular function. Inositol itself can adjust hormones, including those involved in ovulation.

  • Yes, research suggests that myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol‚Äôs ability to regulate insulin and glucose may make them an effective treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a lifelong hormonal condition and a common cause of infertility. The combination of myo-inositol and folic acid may improve ovulation and pregnancy rates in women with PCOS experiencing fertility issues.

  • Yes, when taking the myo-inositol and folic acid combination, pregnancy rates for women undergoing IVF was shown to improve. Additional research shows that fertilization rates increased in women given this supplemental combination when compared to folic acid alone. This nutrient may also boost the number of oocytes in IVF patients who had experienced poor results.

  • Yes. The majority of male reproductive organs ‚ÄĒ except for the testicles, which produce their own supply internally ‚ÄĒ have much higher myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol levels compared to the blood. These nutrients are considered crucial for sperm development. As antioxidants, they promote mitochondrial function, providing sperm with the vital energy needed. Studies show that for men with low sperm counts, myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol resulted in higher motility, concentration, and morphology.

  • Yes, research was conducted on potential myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol benefits for various male fertility problems. These include oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT), a disorder including the three main sperm changes: low sperm count (also called oligozoospermia), reduced sperm movement (asthenozoospermia), and malformed sperm cells (teratozoospermia). Among OAT patients, myo-inositol was found to improve mitochondrial function.

  • Yes, research has determined that D-chiro-inositol specifically may be important to the formation of testosterone. Specifically, it was shown that this nutrient could effectively increase testosterone levels in older men, without any negative effects.