Inositol is a dietary supplement and a psuedovitamin. The term Pseudovitamin used to describe a naturally occurring substance that plays a role in vital functions of the body. Unlike a vitamin or a mineral, pseduvitamins are nonessential and their absence from your diet will not result in a disease.
There are 9 forms of inositol. Myo-inositol is the form most commonly used in supplements. Inositol was at one point considered a B vitamin but it has since been declassified.
This pseudovitamin is found in most foods but in very small amounts. Citrus fruit and grains higher levels of inositol. An average 2500Kcal diet will include 900mg of myo-inositol. The most effective therapeutic doses of inositol range from 2,000mg to 18grams a day depending the treatment. Thus, it is necessary to use supplements to treat disorders and diseases with inositol.
What are the benefits?
Inositol has been investigated as a possible treatment for a wide variety of diseases and disorders. Scientific studies have looked at it’s effects on metabolism, physiological disorders, fertility, and skin diseases. Current research has indicated that this supplement is a very promising treatment for panic attacks, anxiety disorder and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
Individuals who suffer from panic attacks may be able to prevent episodes by taking inositol on a regular basis. A daily dosage of 18 grams of myo- inositol reduced the frequency of panic attacks in patients. In fact, inositol out performed the prescription drug fluvoxamine when it came to reducing panic attacks.
Four separate research studies have found that taking 14-18 grams of inositol each day can reduce the symptoms of a variety of anxiety disorders. People suffering from panic disorder, agoraphobia, eating disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder all found relief with regular inositol supplementation.
Women with PCOS saw significant improvements in their insulin sensitivity and fertility after taking 2,000-4,000 mg of inositol on a regular basis. 14 different medical studies have found the supplement effective in treating PCOS. This impressive collection of evidence suggest that inositol’s role in insulin signaling somehow plays into the complicated physiology of PCOS.
There is limited data to suggest that inositol can improve a variety of other medical conditions such as:
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- insulin resistance
- metabolic syndrome
Is it safe?
Inositol is a very safe supplement. The only side effect associated with consuming inositol, even in high doses, is minor gastrointestinal distress.
If you have panic attacks, an anxiety disorder or PCOS inositol could be an excellent addition to your treatment plan. Other metabolic and psychological conditions may be improved by inositol supplementation but the evidence is less clear. Talk to your physician about weather inositol could be right for you.