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Inositol and Pregnancy – What You Need To Know


What is Inositol

Inositol is essentially a carbohydrate that is found in many plant and animal products, and can be used therapeutically to treat a number of medical conditions. Inositol can help reduce anxiety and depression, as well as help treat poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, which is one of the main causes of infertility in women. Inositol helps the body with carbohydrates and can turn it into metabolism, which is important when talking about insulin pathways in the body.

Hormone Relationship with Inositol

For a woman who is trying to get pregnant or is in the first month, inositol, specifically myo-inositol, can be a great resource because it can help control blood sugar levels and help balance out hormones. Inositol can help women increase progesterone levels naturally, which often is hindered if the woman is overweight and has high insulin levels. The high insulin levels directly increase the levels of testosterone in the body, which then will decrease the level of progesterone in the body. If a woman does not maintain an adequate level of progesterone in the body, she cannot maintain a pregnancy because progesterone is known as the pregnancy hormone. With insulin and testosterone levels high and progesterone hormones low, a woman is more likely to have a miscarriage, and the rate of miscarriage is even higher if the woman has poly-cystic ovarian syndrome.

Inositol Lowers Gestational Diabetes Risk

Research has also come out that says women who take inositol can reduce their risk of developing gestational diabetes, although the study samples were fairly small. If a woman is overweight or there is a history of diabetes or gestational diabetes in the family, then it’s more likely that inositol will help regulate carbohydrates and help control blood sugar. Women who have a family history of type 2 diabetes are especially at risk for developing gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Women who have untreated or even treated gestational diabetes often go on to have complications during pregnancy, including preeclamsia. Preeclamsia is high blood pressure during pregnancy, and this can result in life-threatening complications for the mother and unborn child. Women who take around two grams of myo-inositol twice a day were less likely to develop gestational diabetes compared to the group who did not use the myo-inositol, with both study groups having comparable risk for developing the condition. The women who developed gestational diabetes who took myo-inositol was 6 percent, and it jumped to 15 percent for the group that only took regular prenatal vitamins.

Controversial Use

The use of inositol during pregnancy is still a little questionable, because there have not been a lot of long-term studies to say definitively one way or the other whether it’s good or bad. There are always risks when you take supplements or medication during pregnancy, including a possible risk of low birth weight or miscarriage. Some doctors advise against taking even small doses of inositol during pregnancy, especially if you are taking other medications. Taking inositol can also lead to dizziness, fatigue, and headaches, which might not always be good for pregnant women, especially if they are already prone to high blood pressure or other medical issues. The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor to determine if inositol would be a good choice for you. It seems that the women who have a family history of diabetes are group that benefits the most from taking inositol while pregnant, and it might not be very beneficial for women without that risk.