What is Inositol

Inositol, also known as myo-inositol, is considered one part of the B vitamin complex. It combines with choline to produce lecithin, which is needed for healthy development of all your cell membranes. Inositol is necessary for the proper functioning of nerves, brain, and muscles. It helps us maintain a strong metabolism, processing nutrients into energy, and aiding in the redistribution of body fats. It lowers cholesterol, moving fats out of the heart and liver. It provides good nourishment for our brain, eyes, skin, and hair. It is currently involved in studies as a possible cancer cure. 

Studies are currently underway involving inositol as a treatment or cure for various common cancers. They have tested heavy smokers, aged 40 to 74, who had bronchial dysplasia. At the maximum tolerated dose, for 3 months, there was a noticeable regression of their lesions. 

Inositol hesaphosphate – IP6 – is a very specific type of inositol, one of many found in our bodies. Laboratory research is showing that this specific type of inositol may be effective in slowing, or even reversing tumor growth. IP6 is an antioxidant, which blocks free radicals, which can damage cells. It doesn’t kill the cancer cells, but it changes them back to normal. 

Inositol is a form of sugar similar to glucose. The body produces its own supply. Bacteria that are in our intestines changes the phytic acid that is in plant fibers into inositol. Therefore, it’s present naturally in our bodies, and is also found in many foods. Because of this most people do not need to supplement.  Good food sources include nuts, seeds, legumes, cereal grains, wheat, most fruits, but especially oranges, and cantaloupes. 

If someone has a deficiency in inositol, it might be a contributing factor to heart disease, liver disease, loss of memory, anxiety attacks, or alcoholism. Symptoms such as constipation, irritability, mood swings, hair loss, skin eruptions, and high cholesterol may also be present. Deficiencies can be brought on by drinking large amounts of caffeine. 

Some doctors are prescribing it as a treatment for depression, bipolar issues, OCD, ADHD, insomnia, and many other neurological problems. Often these neurological problems arise when there is a deficiency of inositol in the brain. It is valuable in the production of serotonin, our happiness hormone, which is a neurotransmitter essential to preventing depression. If a doctor is recommending inositol for therapy for depression or other neurological problems, it will often be at a dose of 500 mg. up to 18 grams. Dosing over 1 gram should only be done under the supervision of your doctor. There are mild gastrointestinal side effects with very high doses.