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Supplement your way to health with PCOS? Inositol – is it worth it?




Okay, so this week on socials I spoke about doing some work on the latest research around the menopause, PCOS and women’s health. You all know by now that this is an area that I am particularly passionate about but I have become really fired up in the last couple of days to get creative and write some more and to produce more content for YOU. So, expect plenty more like this one coming your way.

 

Today we talk PCOS and that supplement that has become increasingly popular in the last year or so – inositol.

 

If you aren’t sure what PCOS is, just have a search through the back catalogue, I have a couple of blogs in there that break it down for you. I know though that many, many more of you live with PCOS than we really think, we just don’t talk about it enough, so if that’s you and you feel comfortable to do so, get talking. Tell your friends and family about what it is and how it affects you, send me a message – anything to increase the chat and awareness.

 

The reality is, that to qualify for fertility treatment (common in those with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), certainly in the UK, you have to fit within certain BMI ranges, something that many women living with PCOS struggle to do, so you’re looking for a quick fix, right?

 

I’ll get it out of the way early ladies, there’s no quick fix to changing your hormones – been there, tried it, can confirm, it doesn’t work. A holistic approach working on all aspects of health and fitness is absolutely pivotal to the best long-term outcomes, however, I recognise you might not have that time and if we can seek something out to accelerate that process, why wouldn’t we? Enter – Inositol.

 

Unfortunately, again, particularly in the UK, women living with PCOS are underserved as medical professionals that are our first port of call, namely our GPs, aren’t taught the latest research so I’m here to break it down for you and LOVE questions on all of this stuff so again, fire away. I love to chat about women’s health and if I don’t know something specific to your situation or needs, you can be assured that I will find out so fire away.

 

Inositol is marketed as a quick fix supplement at the moment due to the early research but it’s important to understand that it is just a small element of a bigger picture and research is also in the early stages, although it is very positive so that’s what I’m here to educate you on today.

 

A key issue with women living with PCOS is insulin sensitivity and there are various ways in which we can improve that with lifestyle factors and that is where I come in as your coach but beyond there, there just might be some supplements on the market that can help us along the way – not on their own, a supplement is an addition!

 

Some recent research has shown that inositol might help with insulin sensitivity and glycemic control, and therefore in the management of PCOS, but also with menstrual cycle, hormone and BMI issues – bear with me, we have to include all the sciencey stuff but I promise not to bamboozle you and bore you to tears. It’s important to me that I can help you and give you value but in the RIGHT way, which is difficult to find online these days. So, the study is a meta-analysis of a number of randomised control trials undertaken since 2021, which basically means that it analysed a number of studies that included women living with PCOS and compared the effectiveness of inositol against other medications and placebo drugs also. Looking at a number of studies (26 in this case) rather than just one tells me that it might research worth talking about because the validity and reliability of results will likely to higher and therefore more accurate and truer, rather than someone taking facts from a single study which may have had compounding factors effecting the results.

 

The meta-analysis we are talking about is from 2023 and performed by Greff D, Juhasz AE, Vancsa S, et al. Okay, boring stuff over and down to the meat and potatoes of the study.

 

If you are reading this blog, chances are you have some kind of interest in PCOS, maybe you live with it yourself or maybe you are close to someone that does – if that’s the case you likely know the menstrual cycle implications of PCOS and in turn, fertility issues; these are primarily what the outcomes of the studies looked at. Beyond there, they looked at BMI, the metabolism of carbohydrates, and hyperandrogenism (the level of circulating male sex hormones within the body that can often cause irregular periods and acne among other things – they are often raised in individuals with PCOS).

 

The analysis of all of the studies found that, when compared with a placebo, inositol increased menstrual cycle regularity, decreased BMI which is often high in women with PCOS, and decreased those circulating male sex hormones that we just referenced.

 

This is super exciting as it indicates that inositol, with a little more research behind it, could really be a help in the safe and effective treatment of PCOS, alongside those lifestyle factors we spoke about earlier that are your key pillars to get right before anything else.

 

Listen, anything that can help to keep you ladies feeling that little bit more fabulous you know I am all about so you watch this space, I’ll be coming at you with the latest developments in the research and if we’re working together in a coaching capacity then you can bet, we’ll be hot onto it.

 

If we aren’t working together in a coaching capacity then, why not?! If you feel that I might be able to help you pop a little more spring into your step this March, or you know someone that might benefit from this blog or simply optimising their lifestyle that little bit then just get in touch at annalouisecoaching@outlook.com.

 

Peace and love for now, A x



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