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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1849162, 12 pages
Review Article

Effects of Inositol(s) in Women with PCOS: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

1Department of Medical Sciences, IPUS-Institute of Higher Education, Chiasso, Switzerland
2Department of Medicine and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
3Clinic of Endocrinology, Alexandrovska University Hospital, Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria
4IAKENTRO, Infertility Treatment Center, Thessaloniki, Greece
5Mother-Infant Department, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

Received 6 July 2016; Accepted 22 September 2016

Academic Editor: Michael Horowitz

Copyright © 2016 Vittorio Unfer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder, with complex etiology and pathophysiology, which remains poorly understood. It affects about 5–10% of women of reproductive age who typically suffer from obesity, hyperandrogenism, ovarian dysfunction, and menstrual irregularity. Indeed, PCOS is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility in industrialized nations, and it is associated with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and increased cardiovascular risk. Although insulin resistance is not included as a criterion for diagnosis, it is a critical pathological condition of PCOS. The purpose of this systematic review is the analysis of recent randomized clinical trials of inositol(s) in PCOS, in particular myo- and D-chiro-inositol, in order to better elucidate their physiological involvement in PCOS and potential therapeutic use, alone and in conjunction with assisted reproductive technologies, in the clinical treatment of women with PCOS.