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Can Myo-Inositol Help You Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism?

Will supplementing with myo-inositol help you lose weight when you’re hypothyroid?
Can Myo-Inositol Help You Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism?
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Inositol has gone viral! You may have seen social media influencers talking about an inositol supplement called Ovasitol for their menstrual cycles, ovarian health, fertility, and even weight loss. Could inositol supplements help you lose weight? Are they safe to take when you’re hypothyroid? Ahead, a look at these crucial questions.

What is inositol?

Inositol is a sugar formed in the body and found in certain foods, including fruits, beans, grains, and nuts. The job of inositol is to help facilitate communications between cells in response to hormones and neurotransmitters.

There are nine different forms of inositol, but myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol are the best-studied and most commonly used forms of this nutrient.

Interestingly, the myo-inositol form of inositol used to be considered part of the vitamin B family and was called Vitamin B8.

Research has shown that myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol have benefits in fighting cancer, diabetes, and inflammation, helping balance hormones, and improving the overall quality of life. 

More recently, researchers have found that inositol can help combat metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance,  improve insulin sensitivity, and support healthy carbohydrate and glucose metabolism. These findings have increased the interest in using inositol to help with weight loss and weight management.

What does the research say about inositol and weight loss?

Here at the Paloma blog, we’ve discussed how myo-inositol specifically can help improve hormone balance, reduce thyroid antibody levels, and improve sensitivity to TSH in Hashimoto’s patients.

People with thyroid dysfunction are also at higher risk of insulin resistance and metabolic disorders. These conditions, in addition to a slowed metabolism characteristic of an underactive thyroid, make it easier to gain weight and harder to lose.

This is where myo-inositol comes in. It turns out that depletion of inositol is more common in hypothyroidism. Research published in 2020 reported that patients with hypothyroidism have a “higher demand for myo-inositol” compared to healthy subjects.

The good news is that recent studies on inositol supplementation – specifically, the combination of myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol – have been promising in terms of the potential to support a healthy weight loss program.

A 2021 study looked at the effects of myo-inositol supplementation on body mass index (BMI). The study showed that inositol supplementation significantly decreased BMI. Specifically, myo-inositol may help with weight loss in several ways:

One clinical study from 2016 found that patients on myo-inositol supplementation had a “significant reduction in blood glucose and HbA1c levels.”

Finally, research has shown that combining myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol – along with a healthy diet – “seems to accelerate the weight loss and the fat mass reduction with a slight increase of percent lean mass.”

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How much inositol should you take?

A 2019 study concluded that 2,000 mg of myo-inositol, taken twice daily, is the best dosage to help improve metabolic pathways and support weight loss.

Is inositol safe? What are the side effects of inositol?

When introducing a new dietary supplement, it’s always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider to ensure it’s safe for you and won’t interfere with treatment for your thyroid condition. That said, the FDA has designated inositol as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS).

Inositol has no expected side effects when taken at a recommended dose of 4,000 mg daily.

There are occasional reports of nausea or stomach upset, primarily from those using high doses (above 4,000 mg a day) of inositol daily. Our Paloma blog has other essential tips and cautions if you are thinking about adding inositol to your daily supplement plan.

Can you take inositol with thyroid hormone replacement drugs?

For the best results, it’s recommended that you take inositol supplements apart from your thyroid medication. The reason? Inositol should be taken with food, and experts recommend taking thyroid medication on an empty stomach and then waiting at least an hour before eating for the best absorption.

How long does it take for inositol supplements to work?

Keep in mind that inositol does not provide immediate gratification! It typically takes at least three months of daily use to notice significant benefits. You’ll need to stick with it for a while to learn whether this supplement will benefit you.

A note from Paloma

Difficulty losing weight is a common complaint of hypothyroid patients. But, as with any hypothyroidism symptom, the first and most essential step for anyone with hypothyroidism is to get optimal treatment for your underactive thyroid. You can start by working with a thyroid-savvy Paloma practitioner, who will develop a customized thyroid treatment approach to help you optimize your thyroid and resolve your hypothyroidism symptoms.

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It’s also crucial to be well-informed. For more information on weight loss for people with hypothyroidism, check out our articles here on the Paloma Blog: 

You can also find information on prescription drugs and whether thyroid patients should use them for weight loss in Paloma blog articles on:

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Chatree S, Thongmaen N, Tantivejkul K, Sitticharoon C, Vucenik I. Role of Inositols and Inositol Phosphates in Energy Metabolism. Molecules. 2020 Nov 1;25(21):5079. doi: 10.3390/molecules25215079. PMID: 33139672; PMCID: PMC7663797.

Food and Drug Administration Department of Health and Human Services Subchapter B—Food for Human Consumption. Accessed January 16, 2023.

Le Donne M, Metro D, Alibrandi A, Papa M, Benvenga S. Effects of three treatment modalities (diet, myoinositol or myoinositol associated with D-chiro-inositol) on clinical and body composition outcomes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2019;23(5):2293-2301. doi:10.26355/eurrev_201903_17278

Zarezadeh M, Dehghani A, Faghfouri AH, et al. Inositol supplementation and body mass index: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized clinical trials. Obesity Science & Practice. 2021;8(3):387-397. doi:10.1002/osp4.569

Formoso G, Baldassarre MPA, Ginestra F, Carlucci MA, Bucci I, Consoli A. Inositol and antioxidant supplementation: safety and efficacy in pregnancy. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2019;35(5):e3154.

Mancini M, Andreassi A, Salvioni M, Pelliccione F, Mantellassi G, Banderali G. Myoinositol and D-Chiro Inositol in Improving Insulin Resistance in Obese Male Children: Preliminary Data. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2016;2016:8720342. doi:10.1155/2016/8720342

Pintaudi B, Di Vieste G, Bonomo M. The Effectiveness of Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro Inositol Treatment in Type 2 Diabetes. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2016;2016:1-5. doi:10.1155/2016/9132052

Piras C, Pibiri M, Leoni VP, Balsamo A, Tronci L, Arisci N, et al. Analysis of Metabolomics Profile in Hypothyroid Patients Before and After Thyroid Hormone Replacement. J Endocrinol Invest (2020). doi: 10.1007/s40618-020-01434

Gerli S, Papaleo E, Ferrari A, Di Renzo GC. Randomized, double blind placebo-controlled trial: effects of myo-inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2007;11(5):347-354. Accessed May 3, 2021.

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Mary Shomon

Patient Advocate

Mary Shomon is an internationally-recognized writer, award-winning patient advocate, health coach, and activist, and the New York Times bestselling author of 15 books on health and wellness, including the Thyroid Diet Revolution and Living Well With Hypothyroidism. On social media, Mary empowers and informs a community of more than a quarter million patients who have thyroid and hormonal health challenges.

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