Effects of inositol on glucose homeostasis: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Inka Miñambres, Gemma Cuixart, Anna Gonçalves, Rosa Corcoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism Background & aims: The effect of inositol on glucose homeostasis is not well characterized. The aim of the present meta-analysis is to synthesize the effects of inositol on glucose homeostasis in different clinical conditions. Methods: We performed a systematic review (CRD42017057927) following PRISMA guidelines. Web of Science and Medline were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that addressed supplementation with compounds of the inositol family in humans and assessed their effects on glucose homeostasis. Results: We screened 476 abstracts and included 20 RCTs with a total of 1239 subjects. Meta-analysis showed in the treatment arm a reduction in fasting plasma glucose (Mean difference (MD) −0.44 mmol/l, 95% CI −0.65, −0.23), 2 h PG after 75 g OGTT (MD −0.69 mmol/l, 95% CI −1.14, −0.23), abnormal glucose tolerance (Relative risk (RR) 0.28, 95% CI 0.12, 0.66), fasting insulin (MD −38.49 pmol/l, 95% CI −52.63, −24.36), and HOMA-IR (MD −1.96 mmol × mUI/l, 95% CI −2.62, −1.30). No differences were observed in BMI, HbA1c and % of patients requiring insulin treatment. Sensitivity analysis did not change treatment estimates. Mention to adverse events was only present in 13 articles with no sign of seriousness. Conclusions: Inositol supplementation decreases blood glucose through an improvement in insulin sensitivity that is independent of weight. Assessment of adverse effects is scarce among published trials and should be fully addressed before considering inositol as a therapeutic agent for glucose-related outcomes. The characterization of the subjects achieving benefit from the intervention and the formulations to be used should also be known.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1152
JournalClinical Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Diabetes
  • Glucose
  • Inositol
  • Myo-inositol
  • Pinitol
  • Supplementation


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