Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complicated endocrine disorder affecting many different areas of a sufferer’s body and life. Reliable information can be hard to come by and symptoms such as infertility, excess facial and body hair, acne, fatigue and excess weight can leave women with PCOS feeling inadequate, demoralised and depressed with life.
There are many simple steps that women with PCOS can incorporate into their lives to gain control over PCOS and put them on the path to better health. In this series of articles, we will explore 20 simple and easy steps that can make a difference to PCOS.
Step # 11
Supplement with herbs and nutrients which support healthy carbohydrate metabolism: D-chiro inositol
D-Chiro Inositol (DCI) is a member of a family of substances referred to as inositols and generally considered to fall within the B vitamin complex.
It can be found in small amounts in a range of foods such as buckwheat, chickpeas, soya lecithin, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds as well as in the Ayurvedic herb bitter melon (momordica charantia). It is also produced by healthy human bodies from d-pinitol and myo-inositol, both of which are relatively abundant in the average diet.
DCI plays an important role in insulin signal transduction in human metabolism as a secondary messenger. Insulin transports the sugar from the blood into the cell where a d-chiro inositol-containing Inositol Phosphoglycan or DCI-IPG converts the sugar into either adenosine triphospate (ATP) to be used as energy or glucagon to be stored for later use.
It is currently thought that many cases of insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome and even type II diabetes mellitus are caused by a functional deficiency of this substance through both dysfunction of the enzyme which produces DCI as well as an overly efficient method of excreting what DCI is present in the body.
Studies have found that women with PCOS excrete DCI in their urine at 6 times the rate of healthy control subjects, whilst tissue biopsies taken from people with Type II diabetes have shown a significantly decreased level of DCI-IPG in their cells.
Supplementing with d-chiro inositol can help to address the functional deficiency and may increase the amount of DCI-IPG available in the cells to properly metabolise glucose into energy.
There is early evidence that DCI may also help those with Type II Diabetes Mellitus, however, further clinical trials will be required before this will be known definitively and the effect quantified. For the time being, taking DCI is an excellent way help minimise the risk of PCOS developing into Diabetes.
Human clinical studies have so far shown that DCI supplementation in women with PCOS and those who are insulin resistant can improve a whole raft of symptoms and clinical markers such as:
- Increasing cellular insulin sensitivity
- Increasing fertility
- Improved ovulation frequency by 300%
- Increased low progesterone levels
- Reduced serum insulin levels
- Reducing raised serum androgens (testosterone) both free and total
- Reducing glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) an indicator of long term sugar levels
- Reducing plasma triglyceride levels (the amount of fat in your blood)
- Reducing (bad) LDL cholesterol
- Increasing (good) HDL cholesterol
- Reducing raised blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic
Next article in series: 20 simple steps you can take to control polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) #12
- Scientific literature on DCI & PCOS
- Buy D-chiro inositol
- More information on DCI
You can also find more information on PCOS at www.mypcos.info
This article was originally published at My PCOS Info. Further references and links to the studies mentioned can be found there.