Potential role and therapeutic interests of myo-inositol in metabolic diseases.Biochimie 2013; 95(10):1811-27B
Several inositol isomers and in particular myo-inositol (MI) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI), were shown to possess insulin-mimetic properties and to be efficient in lowering post-prandial blood glucose. In addition, abnormalities in inositol metabolism are associated with insulin resistance and with long term microvascular complications of diabetes, supporting a role of inositol or its derivatives in glucose metabolism. The aim of this review is to focus on the potential benefits of a dietary supplement of myo-inositol, by far the most common inositol isomer in foodstuffs, in human disorders associated with insulin resistance (polycystic ovary syndrome, gestational diabetes mellitus or metabolic syndrome) or in prevention or treatment of some diabetic complications (neuropathy, nephropathy, cataract). The relevance of such a nutritional strategy will be discussed for each context on the basis of the clinical and/or animal studies. The dietary sources of myo-inositol and its metabolism from its dietary uptake to its renal excretion will be also covered in this review. Finally, the actual insights into inositol insulin-sensitizing effects will be addressed and in particular the possible role of inositol glycans as insulin second messengers.