|Inositol is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for forming cell membranes and other structures in the body. Inositol is a
simple carbohydrate involved in the glucuronic acid and pentose phosphate pathways that are responsible for products such as glucose, glucuronolactone and water. Inositol functions closely with choline. It is not recognized as a vitamin as the body and intestinal bacteria can make it in limited quantities, and no deficiency states have been reported. Inositol is found in the brain, nerves, muscles, bones, reproductive organs, stomach, kidney, spleen, liver and heart. It is a major component of lecithin.
An inositol deficiency could be a contributing cause of abnormal platelet aggregation, alcoholism, heart disease (along with B-vitamin deficiencies), liver disease, memory loss, panic/anxiety attacks, and tardive dyskinesia. Pharmaceutical drugs that can cause an inositol deficiency include aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, chlortetracycline, demeclocycline, doxycycline, fluoroquinolones, macrolides, minocycline, oxytetracycline, penicillins, sulfonamides, tetracyclines and trimethoprim. If the inositol intake is not sufficient, symptoms such as eczema, hair loss, constipation, and abnormalities of the eyes and raised cholesterol may be observed. People with diabetes have increased excretion and may benefit from inositol supplementation. People with diabetes experience much greater losses of inositol than other people, which may be caused by an increase in the amount of glucose that appears in the urine in diabetes.