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D-chiro inositol (DCI) for PCOS

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“It has been demonstrated that PCOS women who received DCI enjoyed lower free and total cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity, and a higher frequency of ovulation.

Furthermore, DCI administration in PCOS women seems to improve BMI (body mass index), WHR (waist-hip ratio) and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, hence improving the overall physical health of the patient.”

- Galazis N, Galazi M, & Atiomo W. (2011) D-Chiro-inositol and its significance in polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review. Gynecological endocrinology : the official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, 27(4), 256-62. PMID: 21142777

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11 comments to D-chiro inositol (DCI) for PCOS

  • Cecilie

    Dear Anne,

    Your website seems as the thing I have been looking for since I was diagnosed with PCOS ten years ago. I have tried so many different ”cures” and spend a lot of money, time and worry. Your way of communicating the knowledge about the condition, the science that has been done and your experience makes me feel in the best hands ever!

    I have started taking the Vitex Agnus Castus, but I am a bit insecure about the dosage. I take this product: http://www.naturoghelse.dk/shop/nds-vitex-agnus-castus-5444p.html
    And I take one scoop right after getting out of bed in the morning. Is that the right way to go Anne?

    I have struggled with depression many times, and I often feel like my hormones “play” with my mind. I stopped taking p-pills about 7 weeks ago after taking them for ten years.
    I hope the DCI could help me get more balanced and make everyday life a little less struggle. My cholesterol and blood pressure is good, but the WHR, the skin, the energy and the mood is out of balance.
    From this description do you think the DCI would be the right way to go?

    I’m looking so much forward to hear from you and hopefully get started with the DCI.
    Kind regards from Cecilie

  • Cecilie

    Forgot to right that I am not overweight. Still my WHR is not so good.

  • My PCOS Info

    Dear Cecilie,

    Thank you so much for your comment and kind words. I am glad that you have found the information on my site helpful and I apologise for the delay in writing back to you. WordPress has mysteriously stopped notifying my about comments and I just noticed yours by chance when I logged in.

    The page you linked to is in Danish, and unfortunately I do not speak nor read it. From what I can gather using Google Translate, the product you are taking comes with a scoop which measures 7.2 grams of their product, which may contain between 6 grams and 17 grams of Vitex? If this is true, then it is way too much.

    Further down it appears that they claim 7.2 grams of their product contains only 240 mg of dried vitex fruit. That means that approximately 7 grams of each serve is something else.

    In my experience, powdered vitex agnus castus fruit has a very strong and not very pleasant taste. I would be inclined to get capsules, preferably standardised to contain between 0.5 and 0.8% agnusides and to begin by taking 600 – 1000 mg per day, once in the morning first thing when you get up, on an empty stomach, then wait half an hour before eating breakfast.

    I don’t know how reliable my advice is about the vitex product you are taking, because the translation I got from Google was not very good!

    The research behind DCI and PCOS is quite substantial (though I would like to see more, larger, better designed studies that involve a lot more subjects and are properly randomised, double-blinded and placebo controlled, but then I’m an optimist :) ). Anyway, what research there is strongly supports the use of DCI in PCOS. Hormones are such powerful and complex things, it is easy for us to feel out of sorts when they are not working correctly. The WHR issue is strongly suggestive of insulin resistance and DCI should help with this a lot. In the end, the only way to know is to try it, but I have definitely heard reports form my other customers about improvements in mood, both in terms of anxiety, depression, volatility and more generally being able to cope better with life’s demands.

    I know, with myself, DCI has made a very big difference to my life and I intend to take it for as long as I live (or until the putative enzyme defect that stuffs our inositol and carbohydrate metabolism up is identified and a cure developed, but that may be a long, long way in the future).

    If you have any more questions, please let me know. I’m here to help.

    Best wishes, Anne

  • Preeti

    I’ve been having anovulatory periods and got sick of the side effects of birth control and spironolactone. A nutritionist recommended that I look into DCI and I just wanted to say that implementing the dietary changes you suggest and supplementing with DCI has been helping. I don’t experience as many energy swings and my acne has calmed down.

    Anyone who’s fed up with birth control and other meds commonly prescribed for PCOS should really look into inositol. I’ve only had positive side effects with insoitol (I’m more calm, cravings/appetite are much more manageable) whereas the side effects of bcps/spiro just weren’t worth it for me, personally.

    Potent DCI is not easy to find and the dietary advice on this site is sound. I’ve found that I needed to lower my carb intake more than I once thought and definitely feel better after about a month of lower carb eating and dci supplementation.

    Thanks for all that you do Anne!

  • Priya R

    Dear Anne…

    For a while, I went without knowing I had PCOS. I was very slim, my cycles were fairly regular, I used to have incredibly clear skin and I also never used to have to pluck, tweeze or thread my eyebrows, as they were in perfect shape. I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2010 when I was 21. It was extremely frustrating and I remember being quite depressed and stressed about my future. I noticed that I began to put on weight, I am now a size 14 from my size 8-10 that I used to be, I also began noticing that I started suffering from excess facial hair my menstrual cycle is very confused. I have had enough and have decided that something must be done, I want to get my life and my system back on track. I am 24 years old and these are the years that I shouldn’t be feeling this depressed and fed up with my life. I want to go back to being the way I was and enjoy my young years. I have decided to go on a diet and exercise to lose weight as I feel the weight gain has made my PCOS symptoms a lot worse. I wanted to ask if taking DCI supplement, along side a low-carb diet is safe? I am planning the Atkins diet to loose weight and get into a more healthy eating pattern. Carbs are my weakness and I crave them along side sweets constantly. Will taking DCI have a negative effect on my weight loss goals while doing Atkins? or will it help the process?

    Thank you for your time.

  • My PCOS Info

    Hi Priya,

    Thank you for your comment, and my apologies for the delay in replying to you.

    Your plan sounds like a good one. Increasing physical activity and controlling carbohydrate intake are the cornerstones of any successful PCOS treatment program. All the research into the condition and possible treatments for it support this, no matter whether obesity is a factor or not.

    DCI is perfectly safe to take in combination with a reduced carbohydrate eating plan, and Atkins-style programs are often recommended for PCOS, though in general, I think just heading towards a healthy diet based predominantly on fresh vegetables, healthy fats and good quality protein with as little processed food as possible, is a better approach than a structured diet.

    DCI frequently reduces carbohydrate cravings, as does reducing carbohydrate intake. It’s a vicious cycle – eating carbohydrates drives insulin levels up which makes you hungry and increases carb cravings, as does the resultant crash in blood sugar levels, which starts the whole cycle off again.

    DCI should help you achieve your goals in combination with a reduced carbohydrate diet, not hinder them.

    If you have any further questions please let me know. I’m here to help.

    Kind regards,

    Anne

  • Fina

    Hello!

    I have been taking vitex to help with my PCOS for a while and it did seem to help in the beginning, but now it doesn’t seem to be enough. Turns out that after some reading on your helpful site, I discovered that my dosage is too low. Anyway, I was also thinking about adding d-chiro inositol to improve my results. Is it possible to find a source of d-chiro inositol at my local supplement store and, if so, what should I look for?

    Thanks, Fina

  • stacey

    Hi Anne,
    Thank you so much for your website. My doctor has put me on metformin, saying that I have many cysts on my right ovary. Can I take DCI while taking metmorfin also? Or is that not good?

    Thank you!

  • My PCOS Info

    Hi Stacey,

    Many women with PCOS take both metformin and DCI together. They work somewhat synergistically, however, so it might be necessary to reduce the dose of metformin or even eliminate it completely if you take DCI, in consultation with your doctor of course.

    Metformin actually increases the liver’s production of a compound that contains DCI, called d-chiro inositol – inositol phosphoglycan, which helps to convert glucose within the cells of the body into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is what the body actually uses for energy.

    If there’s anything further I can help you with, please let me know. I’m here to help.

    Kind regards, Anne

  • Carole

    Hi Anne, thanks for all this information. I have PCOS and am TTC, i have thin uterine lining caused my anovulation and low oestrogen. I would like to take DCI to regulate my cycle, but am concerned about that it would adversly affect my oestrogen levels. I know that when i ovulate my indigenous oestrogen rises naturally so I would hope that DCI would improve things. I would love to know your thoughts. Thankyou!

  • My PCOS Info

    Hi Carole,

    If you have low oestrogen due to anovulation, which is quite common, you could expect DCI to improve this, as well as your progesterone levels, as you suspected.

    Warm regards,

    Anne

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