Inositol (vitamin Bh) review
• Basics: a type of sugar related to glucose, an essential eukaryotic metabolite, exists as the fiber component phytic acid.
• Benefits: necessary for proper function of nerves, brain, and muscles in the body, used in the treatment of liver problems, depression, panic disorder, and diabetes.
• Dosage: no recommended daily allowance for inositol, normal human dietary intake is about 1 gram per day.
• Sources: wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, bananas, liver, brown rice, oak flakes, nuts, unrefined molasses, vegetables, and raisins.
• Deficiency: deficiency symptoms includes eczema, hair loss, constipation, and abnormalities of the eyes and raised cholesterol.
Editor’s choice: Inositol Powder
Required for the formation of cell membrane, inositol is vital to healthy cell membranes, especially the specialized cells in the brain, bone marrow, eyes and intestines. Inositol is an essential component of the phospholipids that make up cellular membranes, and so is found in virtually every cell in the body. Click here for more information.
Inositol (vitamin Bh)
Inositol is the common name of myoinositol, the only form of inositol utilized by the body as a nutrient. Inositol is a type of sugar related to glucose. It occurs naturally in the body and is present in many foods. Chemical formula of inositol is C6O6H12. Originally identified in association with the B vitamins, inositol is an essential eukaryotic metabolite that is a component of a major class of membrane phospholipids, and also functions in signal transduction and in a variety of other capacities.
One form of inositol, inositol hexaniacinate, has been used to support circulatory health because it functions like niacin in the body. Inositol hexaphosphate, also known as phytate, is a component of most cereal grains and seeds, occurring in conjunction with plant fiber, and is a source of myo-inositol in the diet. Inositol hexaphosphate is responsible for storing more than 80 percent of the total phosphate in cereals and legumes. Myo-inositol is one of nine distinct isomers of inositol. Humans can make myo-inositol endogenously, which they do from glucose. The major dietary forms of myo-inositol are inositol hexaphosphate or phytic acid, which is widely found in cereals and legumes and associated with dietary fiber, and myo-inositol-containing phospholipids from animal and plant sources.
Inositol (vitamin Bh) functions, uses, and health benefits
Inositol is a fundamental ingredient of cell membranes and is necessary for proper function of nerves, brain, and muscles in the body. Inositol is essential for helping the cells in the body communicate with one another, a process known as cell signalling.
Inositol is involved in the glucuronic acid and pentose phosphate pathways that are responsible for products. Inositol exists as the fiber component phytic acid, which has been investigated for its anti-cancer properties. Inositol is involved in cellular responses to the actions of certain body hormones and chemicals that are released from nerves, called neurotransmitters.
Used with choline, inositol helps to metabolize fats and cholesterol in the arteries and liver. It also helps to promote the body’s production of lecithin. Inositiol supplements are sometimes used medically for people with diseases that cause disturbances in fat metabolism. People who are depressed have much lower-than-normal levels of inositol in their spinal fluid. In addition, inositol participates in the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to be a factor in depression.
Inositol is primarily used in the treatment of liver problems, depression, panic disorder, and diabetes. It also aids in the breakdown of fats, helps in the reduction of blood cholesterol, and helps to prevent thinning hair. It promotes the export of fat from the liver. Inositol is required for the proper function of several brain neurotransmitters. Inositol may improve nerve conduction velocities in diabetics with peripheral neuropathy. Inositol works together with other methyl donors such as TMG or SAMe. Inositol may help protect against atherosclerosis and hair loss. There has also been the suggestion that it may help to reverse some nerve damage caused by diabetes. Inositol has also been tried for other psychological and nerve-related conditions. Myo-Inositol has been used in the treatment of liver disease, depression, panic disorder, diabetic neuropathy, respiratory distress syndrome, and to treat the side effects of the medicine lithium. Inositol also has a prominent calming effect on the central nervous system, so it is sometimes helpful to those with insomnia. Inositol may also be involved in depression.
Inositol (vitamin Bh) dosage, intake, recommended daily allowance (RDA)
Most people do not need to take inositol. In addition, the small amounts commonly found in multivitamin supplements are probably unnecessary and ineffective. Doctors sometimes suggest 500 mg twice per day. For depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, 12–18 grams per day has been shown to be effective in double-blind trials. There is no recommended daily allowance for inositol, but the normal human dietary intake is about 1 gram per day. Dosages in the range of 12-18 grams daily have been used for certain conditions such as panic disorder. For the management of depression and panic attacks, 12 grams of myo-inositol daily, in divided doses, were used in clinical studies. In the clinical studies performed with myo-inositol, effects, if any, were seen in about one month. Compliance with such doses may be a problem.
Sources of inositol (vitamin Bh)
Inositol is available from both plant and animal sources. Natural sources of inositol include wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, bananas, liver, brown rice, oak flakes, nuts, unrefined molasses, vegetables, and raisins. Available naturally from plant and animal sources, the plant form of inositol is combined with six phosphates and is known as the “anti-nutrient” phytic acid. Most dietary inositol is in the form of phytate, a naturally occurring plant fiber that is believed to possess antioxidant properties.
Inositol (vitamin Bh) deficiency
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. 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.