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I nositols, particularly myo-inositol and inositol hexakisphosphate, have gained significant attention for their biological activities and health benefits. While well-known for their roles in cancer treatment and prevention, they also exhibit properties beneficial for energy metabolism and metabolic disorders. This review highlights their potential roles in decreasing insulin resistance, increasing insulin sensitivity, and enhancing cellular energetics. Despite recent advances, further research is needed to fully understand their effects on metabolism and insulin resistance.

Introduction

Inositols and inositol phosphates are crucial for eukaryotic cell biology and signaling. Myo-inositol and inositol hexakisphosphate are prevalent in plants and mammalian cells, playing roles in energy homeostasis, antioxidant activity, and neurotransmission. Myo-inositol has been extensively studied for its benefits in cancer and metabolic disorders such as PCOS and gestational diabetes. Recently, other inositols have gained attention for their roles in energy metabolism.

Biological Roles and Activities

Inositol phosphates act as second messengers in biological processes, including RNA editing, gene expression, DNA repair, and phosphate homeostasis. Inositol hexakisphosphate is a stable and abundant polyphosphate found in cereals and legumes, known for its antioxidant and chelating properties.

Effects on Insulin Resistance and Energy Metabolism

Inositols and inositol phosphates improve insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin resistance, and enhance energy metabolism. They improve lipid profiles and promote glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis. Myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol are effective in managing metabolic disorders, while inositol pyrophosphates like IP7 enhance cellular energetics. IP6K1 deletion in animal models has shown positive effects on obesity and metabolic health.

Other Health-Beneficial Effects

Inositol phosphates have therapeutic potential in neurological disorders, cancer, PCOS, and metabolic diseases. They exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, protect against oxidative stress, and promote bone health. Myo-inositol and inositol hexakisphosphate also show potential in preventing kidney stones and other calcifications.

Conclusions

Inositols and inositol phosphates offer diverse health benefits, including anticancer, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. Their roles in energy metabolism and insulin signaling pathways make them promising nutraceuticals. Further research is needed to explore their full therapeutic potential and applications in clinical settings.

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