Inositols in Insulin Signaling and Glucose Metabolism

Int J Endocrinol. 2018 Nov 25;2018:1968450. doi: 10.1155/2018/1968450. eCollection 2018.


In the past decades, both the importance of inositol for human health and the complex interaction between glucose and inositol have been the subject of increasing consideration. Glucose has been shown to interfere with cellular transmembrane transport of inositol, inhibiting, among others, its intestinal absorption. Moreover, intracellular glucose is required for de novo biosynthesis of inositol through the inositol-3-phosphate synthase 1 pathway, while a few glucose-related metabolites, like sorbitol, reduce intracellular levels of inositol. Furthermore, inositol, via its major isomers myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol, and probably some of its phosphate intermediate metabolites and correlated enzymes (like inositol hexakisphosphate kinase) participate in both insulin signaling and glucose metabolism by influencing distinct pathways. Indeed, clinical data support the beneficial effects exerted by inositol by reducing glycaemia levels and hyperinsulinemia and buffering negative effects of sustained insulin stimulation upon the adipose tissue and the endocrine system. Due to these multiple effects, myoIns has become a reliable treatment option, as opposed to hormonal stimulation, for insulin-resistant PCOS patients.

Publication types

  • Review