Inositol: The multitude of benefits this single vitamin can bestow!


Last Updated June 13th, 2021

What is inositol? 

Inositol is a vitamin-like nutrient that represents nine vitamin compounds. Inositol is present in plants, animals, and the human body. Though it’s an inborn vitamin that has made life better for us, it has also been produced in the laboratory with uttermost care. The most common forms of Inositol are Myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol. The presence of Inositol can be seen as a carbocyclic sugar in the brain and other mammalian tissues. Inositol is produced in the human body when carbohydrates are consumed.

It is often referred to as vitamin B8 but in layman’s terms, it is a sugar with several important benefits and features. It plays a structural role in your body by constructing major cell membranes. It is found in abundance in cantaloupe, citrus fruit, beans, brown rice, corn, sesame seeds, and wheat products.

How can inositol help you?

Depression and Panic Disorder

Inositol has been a stand-alone supplement for treating depression. It helps balance many important chemicals in the brain namely, serotonin and dopamine (the mood controller of your body). Research has proved that people with mental disorders found to have low levels of Inositol and from then on has been used as an alternative treatment for several mental health conditions.

It doesn’t just help you regulate your emotions but also helps you overcome your fear factor. People diagnosed with panic disorders tend to show panic attacks which are an outcome of a sudden feeling of immense fear. Symptoms that highlight a panic disorder are as follows, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating and a tingling or numb sensation in the hands. With constant use of Inositol, it helped reduce the associated symptoms caused by panic attacks.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

As Inositol is a sugar which regulates certain health conditions, it plays a vital role in treating polycystic ovary syndrome (an endocrine disorder in women).

Gestational diabetes

Pregnant women tend to develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This condition is termed as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can be harmful to both mother and baby, therefore treatment of Inositol is prescribed to control and regulate the blood sugar levels.

Metabolic Disorder

Metabolic disorders are a combination of several factors that increase the risk of heart-related diseases. These complications are reflected in strokes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, large waist, and low HDL cholesterol.  If a person is diagnosed with three of the above-mentioned complication it is summed up to be a metabolic disorder. Inositol lowers the complications arising from a metabolic disorder and helps a person cope with the same.

Why is Inositol prescribed to PCOS patients? 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a medical condition that causes the hormones to be imbalanced in women.  The following symptoms show the presence of PCOS, they are, irregular menstrual periods, excess facial hair, thinning of hair on the scalp, weight gain, darkening of the skin in certain areas, and skin tags. PCOS is said to be the stepping stone and a risk factor for diabetes. In women diagnosed with PCOS, the Inositol fails to function properly and causes an increase in insulin by upsetting the whole insulin manufacturing process.

 Women with PCOS are prescribed Inositol supplements to regulate the same and help rule out infertility. The women with PCOS have a natural defect that makes the secondary messengers (Myo and d-chiro Inositol) malfunction, causing insulin resistance (a pathological condition where cells fail to respond to the insulin hormone) and infertility. 

Several medical experts came to a conclusion that approximately 75% of women with PCOS have clinical evidence of menstrual problems and a further 20% of women have ovulatory problems that are difficult to detect unless your doctor or physician really knows what they’re doing and what you are going through.

A small study published in Endocrine Practice in 2002, used 20 women with PCOS. These women were administered placebo or 600 milligrams of D-chiro-Inositol on a daily basis for a time span of 6 to 8 weeks. The study resulted in proving that women who took D-chiro-Inositol found a decrease in the symptoms associated with PCOS and also helped reduce blood pressure and elevated levels of blood fat. 

Inositol and hormonal balance 

Inositol helps reduce the male hormone testosterone and triglyceride, which is produced in a large amount in women with PCOS.  This also helps promote the change in the menstruation cycle and regulate it. Women affected with PCOS tend to put on weight without any cause; this unexplained weight can be controlled by taking Inositol supplements.

The combination of both the Inositols (Some research also shows that taking the two forms of Inositol together improves ovulation better than taking D-chiro-Inositol alone. Also, the combination (Myo and d-chiro Inositol) seems to improve blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood insulin levels better than taking Myo-Inositol alone.

Inositol safe dosage

For treating symptoms associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, a certain form of Inositol (isomer D-chiro-Inositol) 1000 to 1200 mg has been used. A product containing 4 grams of another form of Inositol (isomer Myo-inositol) along with 400 micrograms of folic acid taken on a daily basis can help increase ovulation and treat PCOS symptoms.550 mg of Myo-inositol and 13.8 mg of D-chiro-Inositol twice daily for up to 6 months has proved to be effective for the same.

For women diagnosed with gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) two grams of isomer Myo-inositol along with 200 milligrams of folic acid are prescribed twice per day beginning during the first trimester of pregnancy. For conditions like metabolic disorders, 2 grams of isomer Myo-inositol is prescribed twice daily for a year.

Inositol hexaphosphate, Inositol hexanicotinate, D-chiro-Inositol, and Inositol hexaniacinate are the supplementary forms of Inositol for medical purposes. These forms of Inositol are widely available for purchase online. Inositol supplements can also be found in many natural-foods stores and stores specializing in dietary supplements. Inositol is prescribed for women with PCOS who are trying to get pregnant. This regulates the insulin and increases ovulation and makes the eggs healthier for the sperm to do the needful.

Inositol: Prescribed dosage 

  • Mental health conditions: 12–18 grams of MYO once daily for 4–6 weeks.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: 1.2 grams of DCI once daily, or 2 grams of MYO and 200 mcg of folic acid twice daily for 6 months.
  • Metabolic syndrome: 2 grams of MYO twice daily for one year.
  • Blood sugar control in gestational diabetes: 2 grams of MYO and 400 mcg of folic acid twice daily during pregnancy.
  • Blood sugar control in type-2 diabetes: 1 gram of DCI and 400 mcg folic acid once daily for 6 months.

Though Inositol supplement is widely available it would be preferable to consume the foods rice in the same component. It is therefore even more convenient and easier to take a more natural form of Inositol and in a way of maintaining a so-called healthy lifestyle.

Inositol can be found in the following food sources, meat and seafood like beef, chicken breast, pork, tuna, crabs, and clams, fresh fruit like cantaloupe, citrus fruits, cherries, peach, etc, fresh vegetables like artichoke, okra, cabbage, spinach, beans, dairy products, dried prunes, and grains. 

How does inositol help OCD patients?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of mental illness which forces the affected person to have unwanted and repetitive thoughts, feelings, obsessions, and this pushes them to do something over and over again. Inositol helps treat OCD by converting Inositol into two secondary neurotransmitter chemicals that enhance the action of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is well known as a brain transmitting chemical that plays a vital role in causing OCD.

Inositol safety 

In general, Inositol is a very safe supplement to take as it has shown no clinically adverse effect on several experimental subjects, including humans. However, it is always a good-go supplement when prescribed by a doctor in the required amounts. As precaution women who have PCOS but don’t show signs of irregular insulin levels should think twice before they jump to a conclusion to take Inositol.

To clear the doubts in the air, it mandatory to do insulin screening test and then take the treatment from there. People who are undergoing treatment for severe kidney problems should avoid taking it as it can worsen the immune response. Patients with brain injury, lymphomas, brain, and spinal cord tumors, can in no way benefit from the intake of Inositol.

To conclude, Inositol has been a boon to women suffering from PCOD and patients affected with the panic disorder. The treatment is promising and various positive changes have been observed. Irrespective of the positive effects it nurtures us with; it is always safe to consult a doctor before venturing into the world of Inositols.


TL;DR?

 

 

  1.   https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-299/inositol
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/inositol
  3. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/inositol
  4. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-announces-new-and-expanded-compounding-research-projects
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep08473

 

 

 

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