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What is inositol? Why do we need
Inositol is a simple carbohydrate required for the proper
formation of cell membranes. In the body, it plays an important
role in the transmission of nerve impulses; it also helps
in the transporting of fats within the body.
Preliminary studies have shown that inositol supplements
may improve the transmission of neural signals in patients
with diabetes, nerve damage and numbness. Some double-blind
studies have found that it also may help patients who suffer
from depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
How much inositol should I take?
Most people do not need to take inositol supplements. However,
many double-trials have used a dose of 12-18 grams of inositol
per day. Some practitioners recommend 500mg of inositol supplements
What are some good sources of inositol?
What forms are available?
Nuts, beans, citrus fruit (especially cantaloupes and oranges),
nuts, rice, veal, pork and wheat germ are excellent sources
of inositol. Most dietary inositol is in the form of phytate,
a naturally occurring plant fiber that is believed to possess
What can happen if I don't get enough
inositol? What can happen if I take too much? Are there any
side-effects I should be aware of?
No clear deficiency levels for inositol have been established,
although diabetic patients do have increased inositol excretion.
Similarly, no toxicity levels have been established; however,
people with chronic renal failure often show increased inositol
Large amounts of phytate can reduced the absorption of certain
minerals, particularly iron, calcium and zinc. However, inositol
supplementation does not have this effect.
Other Resources :
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- Benjamin J, Levine J, Fux M, et al. Double-blind,
placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment
for panic disorder. Am J Psychiatry 1995;152:10846.
- Colodny L, Hoffman RL. Inositol
clinical applications for exogenous use. Altern Med Rev
- Fux M, Levine J, Aviv A, Belmaker RH.
Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Am
J Psychiatry 1996;153:121921.
- Levine J, Barak Y, Kofman O, Belmaker
RH. Follow-up and relapse analysis of an inositol study
of depression. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci 1995;32:1421.
- Sandberg A-S, Brune M, Carlsson N-G, et
al. Inositol phosphates with different numbers of phosphate
groups influence iron absorption in humans. Am J Clin