D-chiro inositol acts as a secondary messenger to transport sugar into the cells and burn it as energy. Once insulin has allowed the glucose in the blood to enter the cell, DCI in conjunction with Manganese Chelate and Galactosamine an essential amino sugar, which incidentally is also a part of the hormones FSH and LH, acts as a secondary messenger to finish the process, converting the sugar into either adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the energy source used by all cells, or into glycogen to store the energy for later.
In studies using diabetic rats, DCI was found to lower blood sugar levels by 22-23 % at a dosage of 20 mg per kg twice per day – a result impressive enough by itself, however, which both DCI & Manganese Chloride were administered to the diabetic rats, their high blood sugar levels were reduced by 40-47%! The amount of manganese used was 3.3 mg per kg, twice per day. This is well in excess of the usual recommended intake for humans, so whether this is something we will be able to take advantage of is yet to be determined.
It is therefore possible, that if a person with Insulin Resistance, such as a women with PCOS, were to take Manganese along with their DCI, they might be able to reduce the dose of DCI needed to obtain a therapeutic benefit.
It is important to have your Manganese levels checked before trying this theory out, however, as Manganese toxicity can cause some rather nasty side effects. It generally acts as a neurotoxin in excessive doses, producing symptoms such as headaches, schizophrenia, insomnia, weakening of the musculature and it can even decrease fertility at very high doses. So, if you are interested in trying this out, make sure you have a chat to your Doctor first and have your Manganese levels checked in order to decide what dose of supplementation would be right for you.
Don’t overly concern yourself with Manganese being toxic in high doses, plenty of things are dangerous if taken to excess and Manganese toxicity is usually only found in industrial workers exposed to it or in those who have chronic liver disease. The rest of the population, even if their dietary intake of Manganese is quite high, are unlikely to develop any symptoms of Manganese toxicity. It is however, sensible to ensure that your manganese levels are not already high, before beginning supplementation. Oral contraceptive pills and antacids may actually interfere with Manganese absorption, causing lower than normal levels.
The key is to find the right dose to provide a therapeutic benefit to you. Everyone will be different but somewhere around 10 mg a day is probably a good place to start for most adult people. The current minimum daily intake recommendations range around the 2 mg mark for adults including pregnant and lactating women.
Manganese deficiency can actually cause symptoms of it’s own including poor sugar metabolism, dizziness, loss of hearing, loss of hair colour and in extreme cases loss of hair, nausea & vomiting, decreasing bone density, ovarian cysts (not necessarily PCOS though), infrequent menstrual cycles, endometriosis, infertility & migraine headaches if that isn’t enough! Manganese acts in the human body to activate certain enzymes, allowing for absorption of important vitamins such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), biotin, thiamin, choline. It plays a vital role in carbohydrate and protein metabolism and acts as a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. Manganese also plays an important part in the regulation of sex hormones, reproduction and fertility, nerve health and the production of bone.
Food sources of Manganese include: mustard greens, kale, chard, romain lettuce, collard greens, spinach, brown rice, rye, tempeh, soy, oats, ground cloves, cinnamon, blackstrap molasses, turmeric and some rather tasty things such as raspberries, pineapple and my favourite – maple syrup though this may not be the best source for those suffering from Insulin Resistance!
If you are taking a high quality multivitamin or chromium complex or blood sugar regulating combination, then you may find that there is already an amount of Manganese in it and you could experiment with taking your DCI at the same time.
Anything that can reduce the cost of taking DCI is worth looking into, that’s for sure!
Fonteles M.C., et al. Infusion of pH 2.0 D-chiro-inositol glucan insulin putative mediator normalizes plasma glucose in streptozotocin diabetic rats at a dose equivalent to insulin without inducing hypoglycaemia. Diabetologia; 1996; 39: 731-34.
Larner J, Price JD, Heimark D, et al, 2003 Isolation, structure, synthesis, and bioactivity of a novel putative insulin mediator. A galactosamine chiro-inositol pseudo-disaccharide Mn2+ chelate with insulin-like activity. J Med Chem 46: 3283-3291.
Fonteles MC, Almeida MQ, J. Larner. Antihyperglycemic effects of 3-O-methyl-D-chiro-inositol and D-chiro-inositol associated with manganese in streptozotocin diabetic rats. Horm Metab. Res 2000; 32 129-132.
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