We usually call it DCI for short, but the official IUPAC name is: cis-1,2,4-trans-3,5,6-Cyclohexanehexol. Let's stick with DCI.
Unlike a sugar (which is a specific kind of carbohydrate, even though the words are often used interchangeably), the primary function of DCI is not to provide energy. Its primary function is as part of an important small molecule used during insulin signal transduction, a chemical signal chain that tells our bodies how to dispose of sugar. These small molecules are often called secondary messengers.
It is a biochemical twist of fate that a deficiency of DCI, itself a carbohydrate, can make it so hard to correctly metabolize sugars, our energy carbohydrates. Without DCI, the chemical signal chain breaks down and leads to high blood sugar, high insulin levels, and high androgen levels. These conditions can lead to type II diabetes, PCOS, endometriosis, and other disorders.
All three forms of inositol (myo-, pinitol, and DCI) serve as secondary messengers in signal transduction pathways throughout our bodies. And scientists are still discovering new ways in which the inositols are used. Imbalances in inositol metabolism have been linked to a variety of disorders ranging from PCOS to eczema to obsessive-compulsive disorders to Alzheimer's. Hopefully we've made apparent that DCI is an important member of a large family of essential molecules.
The role of D-chiro-inositol in insulin metabolism and PCOS has been studied extensively over the past several decades. Our knowledge is still incomplete, but thanks to the works of great doctors and scientists (for example, Dr. John Nestler), we've advanced the understanding of PCOS dramatically in the last few years. Frustratingly, this has lead to only a few major changes or improvements in the treatment of PCOS. Possibly the best improvement has been the addition of DCI to the PCOS toolkit.
Unlike many natural supplements for PCOS, DCI therapy is backed by sound clinical trials published in prestigious periodicals like The New England Journal of Medicine. We'll include some links to clinical studies below.
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or write!
D-chiro-inositol--its functional role in insulin action and its deficit in insulin resistance.
International Journal of Diabetes Research, 2002
Ovulatory and metabolic effects of D-chiro-inositol in the polycystic ovary syndrome.
New England Journal of Medicine, April 1999
Effects of d-chiro-inositol in lean women with the polycystic ovary syndrome.
Endocrine Practice, Fall 2002
Protection against the synaptic targeting and toxicity of Alzheimer's-associated A_ oligomers by insulin mimetic chiro-inositols.
The FASEB Journal, January 2013