Inositol is isomer of glucose, normally found in membranes of human cells. Some refer to inositol as the vitamin, but that’s simply not true, because this substance is more an important nutrient than the vitamin. Myo-inositol is the active form of this nutrient, responsible for different processes in the human body. This type of inositol it is a precursor for production of phospholipids, and they are included in the regulation of metabolism, growth processes and transduction of signals between body cells.
Human body produces inositol from glucose, derived from both animal and plant sources. Phytic acid, which is primarily found in the plants, gets converted to inositol by the good intestinal bacteria. Fruits and vegetables, such as cantaloupes, bananas, and legumes, but also brown rice, wheat and whole grains contain phytic acid and are great sources of inositol.
Animal sources of inositol can be eggs, beef liver or beef heart, which are proven to contain plenty or inositol precursors.
Why Is Inositol Good For
Inositol supplements will maintain or increase the level of inositol in your body, helping your neurons to communicate even better with your central nervous system. Because of that, inositol supplements are used as additional treatment in depression, anxiety, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and schizophrenia.
Apart from that, supplemental inositol is proven to be helpful for people suffering from: diabetic neuropathy, premenstrual syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, lithium-provoked psoriasis or different cancers. Some people experiencing hair loss may also benefit from inositol supplementation. For patients suffering from high blood cholesterol inositol can decrease the risk of many cardiovascular problems associated with elevated cholesterol, such as heart attack or stroke.
What Can Go Wrong
Inositol supplements may cause some unwanted effects on your health if you use them in excess. Remember that the initial dose shouldn’t be more than 500mg of inositol, and you mustn’t increase the dosage until you experience how your body reacts to this substance.
Patients using large amounts of inositol supplements complained about nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes even dizziness.
Supplemental inositol should not be used by people suffering from kidney or liver problems. Patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder should also stay away from these supplements, since they could aggravate current medical condition.
Don’t use inositol supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding your child. Always consult your doctors prior to this decision.
Inositol is known to interact with certain medications, like Lithium, Lithobid, Equetro, Epitol, Eskalith, Depakene, Depakote, Carbatrol and Tegretol. Interactions may vary from mild to serious, and can even become a life threatening condition.