Inositol: history of an effective therapy for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014 Jul;18(13):1896-903.


Inositol is a physiological compound belonging to the sugar family. The two inositol stereoisomers, myo-inositol and D-chiroinositol are the two main stereisomers present in our body. Myo-inositol is the precursor of inositol triphosphate, a second messenger regulating many hormones such as TSH, FSH and insulin. D-chiroinositol is synthetized by an insulin dependent epimerase that converts myo-inositol into D-chiro-inositol. Polycistic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic and hormonal disorder and a common cause of infertility. Insulin resistance and the consequent hyperinsulinaemia contribute to hyperandrogenism development, typical marker of PCOS. In these patients myo and/or D-chiro-inositol administration improves insulin sensivity while only myo-inositol is a quality marker for oocytes evaluation. Myo-inositol produces second messengers for FSH and glucose uptake, while D-chiroinositol provides second messengers promoting glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis. The physiological ratio of these two isomers is 40:1 (MI/DCI) and seems to be an optimal approach for the treatment of PCOS disorders.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Inositol / history*
  • Inositol / therapeutic use
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / history*
  • Vitamin B Complex / history*
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Inositol