Viridian Nutrition recently came out with a new product – “Myo-inositol & Folic acid” – being the first UK brand to launch an inositol product.
Several studies have found inositol to be beneficial in treating and dealing with PCOS and its symptoms – effecting restoration of hormone balance, ovulation, metabolic health and fertility.
I have now been using “Myo-inositol & Folic acid” for a month and this is my review of the product.
- I was contacted by Viridian Nutrition about their new product and asked if I would be interested in trying it for myself and later do a review. I received one glass of “Myo-inositol & Folic acid” free of charge from the company. This review is written based on my own findings and experiences with taking the product and there are no affiliate links in this review. I have written it in a way that hopefully makes it easy to find answers to the questions you are most likely to have.
- REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL OF ANY KIND – ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR OWN HEALTH PROFESSIONAL BEFORE TAKING ANY SUPPLEMENTS AND MEDICATIONS!!!
- Do not settle for taking dietary advice from any website or blog without questioning it and doing further research. Take your health serious and be careful!
“What is myo-inositol?”:
Put very simple, myo-inositol is a naturally occurring substance produced in the human body – it is not a pharmaceutical drug. There are nine different types of inositol, and myo-inositol is one of the two types of inositol that have insulin-sensitizing capabilities. It can be found in foods like nuts, fruits and beans.
It is the insulin-sensitizing capabilities that makes myo-inositol interesting for women with PCOS, because many women with PCOS have a defect in their insulin-signaling pathways as well as a deficiency in myo-inositol, which is essential to properly functioning insulin receptors.
I am working on an in-depth blog post about Myo-inositol and inositol in general. I will be sure to link to it as soon as it is done.
“What is Folic acid?”:
Folic acid is a man-made version of folate – which is a form of a water-soluble vitamin B, that can be found in foods such as dried beans, broccoli and spinach. In this product, folic acid is extracted from organic lemon peel.
Folate/folic acid helps the body produce and maintain new cells and contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy.
However folic acid must undergo several conversion steps in the intestinal cells before becoming a form that can be used in the human body. In some people this is a problem due to a mutation in a gene called MTHFR. It is roughly estimated that 40% of the human population has this mutation.
I am working on an in-depth blog post about Folic acid in general and the MTHFR gene and mutation. I will be sure to link to it as soon as it is done.
Until then you can also read more on MTHFR and Folic acid right here.
“What is in “Myo-inositol & Folic acid”?”:
The name of the product is very descriptive actually – it contains myo-inositol and folic acid (extracted from organic lemon peel). It is a vegan product and it is free from additives, binders, fillers, colours, flavors and excipients of any kind.
In the two scoops taken at a time, you get 2000 mg of myo-inositol and 200ug of folic acid.
Viridian Nutrition have a clear philosophy about what should be in their products – and what should not! You can read much more about this on their website right here.
Here are a few of the things they are passionate about (from their own website):
- 100% active ingredients
- No nasty additives
- UK manufacture
- Green business practices
- Supporting the community
As a customer I found this very assuring and I was happy to read about their environmental approach. It all goes nice in hand with my own view of medicine and the environment.
I do have one concern about the ingredients: the use of folic acid instead of the natural form folate.
The newest research on folic acid and the mutation in a gene called MTHFR (which is estimated to be present in 40 % of the human population), shows that people with MTHFR can be up to 80% less efficient in converting folic acid. The un-converted folic acid can bind to the folate receptors in our cells and thereby block out folate; making it even harder to reach the folate levels needed to ensure healthy DNA synthesis.
I would have liked to see a company like Viridian Nutrition use the natural form of this B vitamin – and I hope they will in the future!
“What does it cost?”:
The product is sold on Viridian Nutrition’s website at a price of £16.40.
One glass will last you a month.
“Is the product easy to use?”:
Overall I find that the product is very easy to use – the main obstacles being too short of a memory and fingers. Both easily overcome!
The product is a white powder and the directions of use is to “take two heaped scoops twice daily mixed into water or juice or as recommended by your healthcare professional.”
I simply made it a habit to take it in water along with my breakfast and my dinner – that way overcoming my short memory obstacle. (An alarm on my phone would have been another way of overcoming it.)
The scoop, which is mentioned in the directions, was a bit of a mystery to me the first 4-5 days.
I used a small teaspoon (and took one teaspoon twice daily) but it seemed odd to me that they would mention this “scoop” and not simply write a form of measurement I was more familiar with….
However I soon discovered that in the white powder was a small white – you guessed it I am sure – SCOOP! It had buried itself down into the product so I could not see it or feel it at first.
With that mystery solved, the product became a lot easier to use – until the bottle was only 1/3 full and the scoop became too short. I apparently didn’t have long or slender enough fingers to use this scoop just as it was – so I became creative and found a way to lengthen it… (See the picture below)
“What does it taste like?”:
This was something I was very interested in figuring out – because, let us be honest, having to drink something twice daily makes you wonder if it will taste awful!
I can tell you that it is barely detectable in the water – much less in juice. Now, I know water is different in taste all around the world, so maybe the taste can vary a bit from place to place…
With the water here in Denmark it has a very faint sweet taste. Very faint!
In juice I haven’t been able to taste it at all.
So that is a definite plus!
“What are the effects of myo-inositol according to the research and studies?”:
Unlinked to Viridian Nutrition and their product, several studies has been made to investigate the possible effects and benefits of myo-inositol in women with PCOS. This is just a quick and very simplified look at what those studies found.
Helps with weight loss and appetite control:
In a randomized, double-blind trial, 92 women was given either 400 mcg of folic acid as a placebo or 4g of myo-inositol + 400 mcg folic acid. In the myo-inositol-group, ovulation significantly increased, as did the frequency of normal progesterone values in the luteal phase and estradiol levels. The study noted there were less metabolic benefits to those women who were overweight, but also that the myo-inositol-group lost a significant amount of weight and had lowered leptin levels. (Leptin is an appetite regulating hormone)
You can read more here.
Help regulate periods, increases chances of ovulation and improves egg quality:
A study from 2007, followed 25 women with irregular menses or no menses due to PCOS. Myo-inositol and folic acid was given daily as INOFOLIC. Those treated had at least one menstrual cycle – and of these women 72% continued ovulating normally. 40% of the women became pregnant following the study.
You can read more here.
A different study showed that high levels of myo-inositol within follicles may be a marker of good follicular development and good egg quality.
You can read more here.
A third study measured the effects of both myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol (the other insulin-sensitizing inositol) in women undergoing fertility treatments. The results showed that women who received myo-inositol had better egg quality and more mature eggs.
You can read more here.
Helps acne and hirsutism:
A study, conducted in Italy with 50 PCOS women who took myo-inositol for 3 months, found that plasma LH, testosterone, free testosterone and insulin were significantly reduced. After 6 months of taking myo-inositol, both acne and hirsutism decreased.
You can read more here.
“What are the side effects of taking myo-inositol?”:
Side effects reported in clinical trials of myo-inositol have included:
- Mild, consisting headaches
- Mild gastrointestinal discomfort was noted in 5% of users taking 12g per day
There are some cases where inositol supplements may not be recommended – always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or medications!
Be extra careful if you are pregnant; nursing; going in for surgery; taking other supplements and medications etc.
Specific dosing amounts to avoid myo inositol side effects should always be discussed with your physician.
The effects/side effects I experienced:
I have been taking “Myo-inositol & Folic acid” for a month now. The studies mentioned above ran for an average time of 3 months.
So far I have experienced a feeling of being full after each meal for a longer period of time than before I started taking the supplement. I used to get hungry again within a few hours of eating, which was honestly quite annoying – and made me eat a bit more chocolate in the evenings than I should have…
I measured myself in 5 different places the day I stared taking the supplement – above the breasts, on the breasts, at my waist, on my hips and around my upper thigh. Yesterday I redid the measurements and was pleased to see that I have lost 8 cm in total in those 5 places. Having PCOS – for me – means that I almost never lose weight no matter how much I try. So I was quite happy with this result.
On my back I have had some “lovely lady lumps” since I was a kid and my first symptoms of hormonal imbalance first presented themselves.
I have been told that having fat in that place on the body is a sign of an insulin defect, so I was quite excited to see if this product would have any effect on them… And what do you know – it did. They have shrunk just a bit, but never the less!
One of the things I struggle with the most with my PCOS is my hirsutism. On my chin and along my jaw line I get the most annoying black hairs. I feel so embarrassed by them and even on good days they can steal away my feeling of femininity and beauty.
I actually did not expect myo-inositol to help with that at all, because all other promising products I have tried have done nothing to the problem.
But I have to say that the hairs have grown back slower and fewer than before the weekly “plucking”. I almost didn’t believe it at first… But I have had fewer painful tweezer-moments in front of the mirror lately, so something is happening for sure.
Of side effects I have experienced mild headaches (however I did also get headaches before…), a bit of dizziness and one or two days of slight nausea.
My pee also turned a very special shade of yellow that had me freaked out for a while. After consulting my doctor and being told all was well, I calmed somewhat down again. I did however make sure to drink lots and lots of water just in case!
In conclusion I have been very happy with the product and I will continue taking it for another 2 months, so I reach the 3 months that was recommended in most of the studies. In 2 months time I will make an update to this review as well.
I think the price is very fair, the product is easy to use and it does seem to have an effect on some of the PCOS symptoms I am dealing with.
I am frustrated with the fact that they use folic acid, given all the new research on this matter. It is making me consider not taking it – and was a major concern for me before I started taking it as well. I do sincerely hope that Viridian Nutrition will consider using the natural version “folate” instead in the future. That would make me give this product top marks – but I cannot do that when folic acid is used. Not even when it is extracted from organic lemon peels.
I hope this has been helpful for you.
Please feel free to comment and ask questions in the comment section below.
And DO please talk to your doctor or other health care professional before you take any supplements or medications! It is your health – take good care of it!