D-chiro-inositol (DCI) is a type of inositol that is involved in various cellular functions, including cell signaling, gene expression, and glucose metabolism. DCI is a member of the inositol family, which includes other important nutrients like myo-inositol, scyllo-inositol, and muco-inositol. DCI is derived from myo-inositol, which is a type of inositol that is commonly found in foods like fruits, grains, and nuts.
DCI has been studied for its potential health benefits, including its role on insulin, hormonal imbalances, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).*
History of D-chiro-inositol
DCI was first discovered in the 1930s and was identified as an important component of inositol phosphate metabolism in the body. Later studies found that DCI could be a potent mediator of insulin signaling and glucose metabolism.*
Chemistry of DCI
DCI is a six-carbon cyclitol that is structurally similar to other inositol isomers. DCI has two chiral centers, which means it can exist in two different forms: D-chiro-inositol and L-chiro-inositol. D-chiro-inositol has been found to potentially have biological activity in the body.*
DCI is synthesized in the body from myo-inositol through a process that involves the conversion of myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol. DCI is also found in small amounts in some foods, including legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
Biology of DCI
D-chiro-inositol might play a role in insulin signaling and glucose metabolism in the body.* It might be involved in activating the insulin receptor and the uptake and utilization of glucose by cells.
DCI may also play a role in supporting hormones in the body and positively supporting the production of androgens, which are male hormones that can be elevated in conditions like PCOS in certain populations.* Elevated androgen levels might cause symptoms like acne, hirsutism, and irregular menstrual cycles.*
More research needs to be conducted around D-chiro-inositol to better understand its role and benefits as studies results might apply only to certain individuals, populations and/or settings
D-chiro-inositol in food
D-chiro-inositol (DCI) is found in small amounts in some foods, including legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Lentils and beans, such as chickpeas and navy beans, are good sources of DCI. DCI is also found in fruits like cantaloupe and oranges, as well as vegetables like kale and spinach.
It's essential to remember that D-chiro-inositol should not be considered a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and other healthy habits are fundamental to maintaining overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
If you are considering taking d-chiro-inositol supplements, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider first to determine if it is right for you and to determine the best dosage and form of inositol for your specific needs.