sometimes referred to as Vitamin B8, is a water soluble fatty
lipid that is required by the body for the formation of healthy
cells. Inositol has been shown to be effective in treating some
cases of depression, anxiety, OCD and other psychological
disorders that respond to serotonin uptake inhibitors.
the reported benefits of inositol in clinical settings are a
reduction in the need for pain medication when patients are
given inositol, a reduction of edema in treatment of scald
burns, and in relieving the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
According to an abstract published by
Colodny, Pharm D. and Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D. about the clinical
applications of inositol,
is now established as a significant mediator of calcium
mobilization in the endoplasmic reticulum. Modifying this
mobilization of calcium may be effective in treating some CNS
disorders like Alzheimer's disease, depression, panic disorder,
obsessive compulsive disorder, and as an analgesic for pain
control. Likewise, its use to alleviate lithium-induced adverse
reactions is also promising.
is a ‘second messenger’, triggering the release of calcium in
cells. It also is involved in the transmission of messages
between neural cells and the transport of fats within cells.
It’s most important role seems to be in the central nervous
system, where it serves to help transmit messages along neural
pathways. Various studies have shown its efficacy in treating a
number of psychological disorders that seem to have a chemical
basis, including bulimia, OCD, depression and bipolar mood
disorder. Inositol seems to be present in greater concentration
in the cells in and around the central nervous system, including
brain cells and retinal cells, and in other specialized cells
such as bone marrow and intestinal cells. It is also found in
high concentration in mother’s milk, leading to the possibility
of a link to the immune system.
of its role in cell health and neurotransmission, inositol is
considered an important nutrient, even though it is not
technically a ‘vital’ nutrient or a vitamin.
Benefits of inositol:
has been used for some time in the treatment of several
neurologically based disorders. These include:
Mild to moderate depression
treated with supplements of inositol showed a definite
improvement in several studies of depression.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
studies, patients suffering from OCD and related disorders
showed relief of their symptoms when given supplements of
evidence suggests that large doses of inositol reduces the
number and severity of panic attacks.
Potential Indications for Use
proven effective in alleviating the symptoms of diabetic
neuropathy, most likely because of its neurotransmitter
While there are
no studies to support it, many medical professionals believe
that because of its effects on serotonin reuptake levels,
inositol can help alleviate insomnia. There is a great deal
of anecdotal evidence to support this benefit of inositol.
clinical studies conducted on patients with Alzheimer’s
disease showed improvement and delay in the onset of
symptoms in those who were treated with inositol.
studies confirm mild to moderate improvement of symptoms in
those diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder who were given
At least one
study linked higher levels of inositol in neonates with a
decreased risk of retinopathy.
Side Effects of inositol
are no reported side effects to the use of inositol, though it
is not recommended for use by pregnant women.
of its beneficial effects on the central nervous system and its
role in the development of healthy cells, many doctors recommend
a multivitamin supplement that contains inositol. Inositol is
recommended as a treatment for anxiety, depression, bipolar mood
disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorders. In
addition, there is evidence to suggest that inositol may be
useful in treating other mood disorders and neuro-psychological