Myo-Inositol: The Key Carbohydrate in Increasing Insulin Sensitivity


Sometimes only when the major side effects hit us that we find out we have a major illness or a chronic disease. This is especially apparent for Diabetes where insulin level stability is a key player. It is a type of “vital hormone” the body needs to regulate blood glucose. High quality carbohydrates (ie. slowly digestible, inositol carbohydrate) raise blood glucose levels a lot slower. Because getting used to a balanced diet is hard for some, you can easily throw your blood glucose off balance. During this process, some use nutritional supplements to help with hunger and glucose spikes. So as long as they are Diabetic Specific Formulas (eg. Glucerna and Glucerna Liquid), it can very well help you.1, 7

Why Insulin Sensitivity is Important

No matter how efficient a certain function in our body is, age, medication, and refining of foods can lessen insulin sensitivity. When you have Type 1 Diabetes (genetic, autoimmune, destroying insulin producing cells), low insulin can cause glucose to build up in the blood and cause organ damage.1, 2, 3 In Type 2 Diabetes (developed over time, lifestyle, the body does not recognize insulin), high insulin levels due to lack of sensitivity can damage the heart in the long run. Since both types have similar symptoms like frequent urination, thirst, fatigue, and vision loss, the only way to know is to take blood tests to measure blood glucose levels.1, 2, 3

Myo-inositol vs. Other Inositols

The inositol found in our bodies is mostly made up of myo-inositol, which can be consumed through most types of food. Though aptly referred to as Vitamin B8, inositol is not a vitamin, but a type of glucose that aids your body in insulin processing. There are actually nine types of inositols in nature, but the key two forms are myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol for our cells.

Myo-inositol exists in higher levels in cell tissues, helping control blood glucose levels that need glucose more often like the brain and the heart. D-chiro-inositol (DCI) is tissues responsible for storage like the liver and muscles.4, 5, 6

How to Get More Myo-Inositol in Your Diet

Food products that are high in inositol forming substances are grains, beans, nuts, and some fruits. As plentiful as your food options are, it is quite hard to get the right balance of foods to get myo-inositol (best in slot for mimicking insulin action). This is because the glycemic load or index of the food matters too. 3, 6, 7

From a rating of 1 to 100, if the majority of the food you eat rates high (eg. highly processed foods and refined sugars), it will keep blood glucose in high levels, thus worsening your diabetic condition. For this some diabetic patients are recommended the help of diabetes specific formula (DSF) by doctors. For example, rated No. 1 Doctor Recommended Diabetes Nutritional Formula in the US,8 Glucerna is scientifically formulated for people with diabetes. Each serving rates low on the GI because of its New and improved carbohydrate11 and 4x the Myo-inositol9 to help effectively manage blood glucose levels.11 Glucerna is also formulated with dietary fibers, 28 vitamins and minerals, heart-healthy lipid blend and 12 immunity ingredients to help improve immunity (excess glucose in the blood hinders effectiveness of immunity cells), to help control blood glucose in 4 weeks + .10

Increasing insulin sensitivity is key for controlling blood glucose levels and to live well with diabetes. Food and high-quality carbohydrates are the top tools for keeping you satisfied and nourished. And for extra help, 2 servings of Glucerna a day (5 scoops + 200ml water per serving) can help replace some meals as a low glycemic index choice. For those who want nourishment on the go, the new Glucerna Liquid is a convenient option to help keep you steadily energized the whole day. But always remember to consult your doctor on how you can incorporate Glucerna® into your daily diet!7

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    8. IQVIA, using the ProVoice Survey, fielded to 13,040 physicians from November 1, 2022 to October 31, 2023 and recorded the OTC product recommended most often in the Diabetic Nutrition Supplement category, has validated the following claim at a 99% confidence level.
    9. Compared to previous formula of Glucerna
    10. +Peng et al. 2019.
    11. Chee et al. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2017; +Peng et al. 2019..

Additional Readings:

    3. Jenkins et al. Diabetologia. 1982