7 Benefits Of Inositol
By Jayton Miller
Inositol is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found primarily in fruit. While it is often referred to as vitamin B8, inositol is not actually a vitamin, but a type of sugar because humans are capable of producing it from glucose.
More specifically, inositol is an isomer of glucose, meaning that it's a natural sugar or sugar alcohol. It can be quickly broken down and used as a source of energy for the body if needed.
Inositol plays a key role as a structural component of cell membranes. It also impacts insulin activity, a hormone that influences blood sugar levels. Inositol can also impacts chemical messengers in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine.
- Benefits Of Inositol
- How To Use Inositol
- Symptoms Of Inositol Deficiency
- Foods That Contain Inositol
- Supplementing With Inositol
Benefits Of Inositol:
Inositol may have numerous benefits to the mind and body, including the following.
May Help With Infertility and PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common syndrome that causes a hormone imbalance that results in skipped menstrual periods in women, makes it difficult for women to get pregnant.
Inositol may help to effectively treat PCOS and the infertility that comes with it. According to studies, inositol can promote ovulation and therefore regulate a woman's hormones to improve the odds of conception. One particular review looked at 12 clinical trials and found that inositol may be able to restore ovulation and improve fertility in women with PCOS, without any side effects.
May Improve Insulin Activity in Diabetic Patients
People who suffer from insulin resistance may be deficient in inositol, according to animal studies. Research has shown that supplementing with inositol can help to restore insulin sensitivity in diabetic circumstances, though more human studies are needed to solidify the role that this sugar alcohol may play in alleviating insulin resistance.
May Help Combat Mental Health Issues
Certain chemicals in the brain — including serotonin and dopamine — are directly related to a person's mood, and inositol may be able to alter these chemicals and improve mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown that many people suffering from these mental health disorders are deficient in inositol in the brain. Research suggests that supplementing with inositol can help boost a person's mood and alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It may even be used as an alternative to traditional medications prescribed to treat these conditions, without the same level of side effects.
May Help Combat Metabolic Syndrome
Research suggests that supplementing with inositol may help patients suffering from metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that increases the risk of heart disease and type II diabetes.
One particular study assessed a group of 80 women with metabolic syndrome who were given 4 grams of inositol every day. The researchers found that blood triglyceride and total cholesterol levels decreased. Further, one-fifth of the group who took inositol supplements throughout the study no longer showed symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
May Be an Effective Component in Cancer Treatments
Research has found a potential link between certain foods with inositol and fighting cancer during treatment. More specifically, myo-inositol and IP6 inositol variants may have anti-cancer effects and may even help to offset the harmful effects of chemotherapy.
May Lower Chances of Development of Gestational Diabetes
Clinical reviews suggest that myo-inositol supplement consumption during pregnancy may help to reduce the development of gestational diabetes mellitus. That said, further study is required to solidify these findings.
May Be Effective in Treating in Eating Disorders
One study found that inositol supplementation may be effective in helping individuals battling bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Study participants who took at least 18 grams of inositol per day seemed to do much better than the placebo group on all basic eating disorder rating scales involved in the study.
Researchers suggest that these results may be linked to the mood-altering effect of inositol, as these types of eating disorders are largely based on emotional symptoms.
Read More: 10 Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Effectively
How to Use Inositol:
White inositol can be found in several food products, it can also be taken in supplement form, including capsules and powder formats. Those who wish to take smaller doses of inositol may find capsules more convenient, while those who are looking for higher doses may find powder formats more useful.
The recommended daily dose of inositol depends on the reason for its use. For instance, studies have found that between 200-4,000 mg of inositol per day is best for those looking to combat PCOS.
For psychiatric treatment, on the other hand, as much as 12-18g of inositol per day may be more effective.
It's important to follow manufacturer suggestions and speak with a physician to determine the ideal dosage for specific ailments.
Symptoms of Inositol Deficiency:
Possible symptoms of a deficiency of inositol include:
- Bald patches
- High concentration of lipids in the blood
Who Is At Risk Of An Inositol Deficiency:
Some people may be more at risk of being deficient in inositol than others:
- People who eat a low-fiber, high-fat diet
- People who are insulin resistant
- People suffering from anxiety and depression
Foods That Contain Inositol:
Several foods naturally contain inositol, including the following:
- Bell peppers
- Grass-fed and organic beef
- Organic eggs
- Coconut oil
Supplementing With Inositol:
There aren't many significant side effects associated with the consumption of inositol, though some mild side effects have been documented when higher doses are taken. These side effects can include:
- Difficulty sleeping
There isn't enough research on the potential side effects of taking inositol over the long-term. Further, while it may be safe to take low doses of inositol while pregnant, there isn't enough evidence to support its safety while breastfeeding.
As with any other type of supplement, it's important to discuss inositol supplementation with a doctor before taking it.
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If you are looking for a way to improve your mood, fight depression or anxiety, and increase your energy levels without the use of drugs, then inositol could be the answer. Try it out and let us know how you like it!