D-Pinitol

Nonessential Micronutrient

OVERVIEW

Summary

Recent research has found this form of the vitamin B inositol may have profound insulin-like properties, which may explain its long use in traditional healing medicine for numerous diabetic-associated conditions. D-Pinitol has now become one of the better studied insulin mimickers in the supplement industry and is proving to be an excellent aid in improving glucose metabolism. Also noteworthy, it’s been shown to help enhance the uptake of creatine without the use of high-calorie simple carbohydrates.


Other names for D-Pinitol

D-chiro (+)-o-methyl inositol, Inzitol (trade name), Bougainvillea spectabilis

Where to find D-Pinitol

D-Pinitol was traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s found in the leaves of a plant called Bougainvillea spectabilis. This plant’s natural habitat is Brazil and Central and South Florida.

PERFORMANCE BENEFITS

Why athletes use D-Pinitol

Efficient glucose metabolism can improve the storage of glycogen, which ultimately improves endurance, athletic performance, muscle volume, and post-workout recovery. Pinitol, then, is attractive because it may help improve glucose metabolism.

Ways that D-Pinitol can enhance Energy & Endurance:
  • Improve glucose metabolism and help increase cellular energy
  • Increase prolonged energy output by improving glucose metabolism

HEALTH BENEFITS

Signs of D-Pinitol deficiency

No deficiency conditions are known to exist.

Potential uses for D-Pinitol

Research indicates that D-Pinitol may be useful in the treatment of:

  • Syndrome X
  • Certain pre-diabetic conditions
  • Neurological disorders

DISCUSSION

More about D-Pinitol

D-Pinitol is a form of the B vitamin inositol that was initially discovered in the leaves of a plant called Bougainvillea spectabilis, which had been used in traditional healing medicine for many diabetic associated conditions. Further studies found it to have insulin-like properties but without causing hypoglycemia in individuals. D-Pinitol has now become one of the better studied insulin mimickers in the supplement industry and is proving to be an excellent aid in improving glucose metabolism.

What does insulin do?

Insulin is thought of as one of the most anabolic (muscle-building) hormones in our bodies, and one of its main jobs is to regulate the uptake of glucose, a source of energy, into your cells. Cells that need glucose have specific insulin receptors on their surfaces, and when the insulin binds to these receptors, it ensures correct glucose utilization.

Most healthy people convert food into glucose, which is the essential source of energy for the normal function of cells in your body. Insulin regulates the uptake of glucose into your cells. So, if your insulin isn’t working efficiently, your cells aren’t getting energy, and ultimately, neither will you. When glucose enters your cell, it’s metabolized into carbon dioxide and water to form ATP (adenosine triphosphate)… or energy!

Due to our eating habits, moods, or physical output, glucose levels can be up and down on a rollercoaster ride all day. When glucose levels are high (e.g., right after you’ve eaten), your body releases insulin to help regulate glucose to proper levels. When glucose levels are low (e.g., after you’ve exercised), your body converts stored glycogen and fat into glucose, providing you with the energy you need.

This constant roller coaster ride can often lead to poor glucose metabolism, and the medical profession now estimates that 25 to 50% of adult Americans potentially have poor glucose metabolisms. This is where insulin does not function effectively. For athletes, weight trainers, and active people in general, proper glucose metabolism is essential, not only for ensuring prolonged periods of energy but also to increase the volume of muscles.

How pinitol works

This is where pinitol comes in. Studies have shown in animals and in humans that pinitol is capable of lowering blood glucose levels and improves use of glucose in cells. In other words, it can mimic the hormone insulin. Dr. John Zenk, a member of the American board of Internal Medicine, explains that D-pinitol belongs to a family of compounds called inositols. When insulin binds to its receptor, these members of the inositol family are released in the cell membrane, so they may aid in the conversion of glucose into useful energy.

Kreider and Almada, in a more recent study, showed how D-pinitol affects whole body creatine retention. They also demonstrated that when low doses of pinitol (.5 grams taken twice per day) were taken with five grams of creatine supplemented four times per day, the body retained creatine in a manner similar to when creatine is consumed with high amounts of carbohydrates. This could mean the end for all those high-carbohydrate (and high-calorie) “enhanced creatine delivery” products and an answer for people wishing to get the best out of their creatine while still maintaining low calorie (and simple sugar) intake.

In conclusion

D-Pinitol is an exciting and safe nutrient you many choose to consider to reduce calorie consumption when supplementing with creatine. It also is showing promise for the millions of Americans now suffering from insufficient functioning of insulin in the body and the ailments that come with it.

NOTES ON USAGE

Amount

When used to enhance creatine uptake, clinical studies found between 1 and 2 grams daily initially and then dropping to 500 mg to 1 gram daily to be effective.

Timing

It’s best to take D-pinitol with carbohydrate-rich foods or other specific supplements; namely, creatine, as recommended.

Synergists of D-Pinitol

D-Pinitol has recently been found to increase creatine retention when the two are combined.

Drugs that interact with D-Pinitol

Although none are specifically indicated, consult with your practitioner if you suffer from any ailments involving insulin function and are using medication for such.

Toxicity of D-Pinitol

There have been significant pre-clinical safety studies that have shown D-pinitol is safe and nontoxic even at high levels.

Bans and restrictions

None reported.

RELATED RESEARCH

  • The data support the view that D-pinitol can exert an insulin-like effect to improve glycaemic control in hypoinsulinaemic STZ-diabetic mice. D-pinitol may act via a post-receptor pathway of insulin-action affecting glucose uptake.
  • British Journal of Pharmacology 130 (2000) : 1944-8.
  • Greenwood, M., et al., “D-Pinitol Augments Whole Body Creatine Retention in Man,” ASEP 4.4 (2001) : 41-7.
  • Narayanan, C., “Pinitol — A New Anti-Diabetic Compound from the Leaves of Bougainvillea,” Current Science 56.3 (1987) : 139-41.
  • Ostlund, R., and Sherman, W., “Measurement of D-chiro-Inositol in Clinical Studies,” Diabetes Care 18.7 (1995) : 1074-5.
  • Rasmussen, C., et al., “Influence of D-Pinitol on Whole Body Creatine Retention,” www.acsm-msse-org, abstract 1147.
  • Humanetics (www.humaneticscorp.com) is the exclusive worldwide licensee of the following patents: U.S. Patent Number: 5,550,166, U.S. Patent Number: 5,827,896